Receptive and Expressive Language as Predictors of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This study examined whether language skills and nonverbal cognitive skills were associated with clinician-observed restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) in a sample of 115 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at ages 2 and 3. By age 3, RRBs were significantly negatively correlated with receptive and expressive language, as well as nonverbal cognitive skills. Increases in receptive and expressive language from age 2 to 3 significantly predicted decreases in RRBs, controlling for age in months, time between visits, and gains in nonverbal cognitive skills. This study contributes to the limited research that has examined early patterns and predictors of RRBs in young children with ASD.