Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1721–1734

Predictors of Language Acquisition in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders


    • Pediatric and Developmental Neuropsychiatry BranchNational Institute of Mental Health
  • Catherine Lord
    • University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC)University of Michigan
  • Li-Ching Lee
    • Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins University
  • Craig Newschaffer
    • Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsDrexel University School of Public Health
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0300-1

Cite this article as:
Thurm, A., Lord, C., Lee, L. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2007) 37: 1721. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0300-1


In 118 children followed from age 2 to 5 (59 with autism, 24 with PDD-NOS and 35 with non-spectrum developmental disabilities), age 2 and age 3 scores of non-verbal ability, receptive communication, expressive communication and socialization were compared as predictors of receptive and expressive language at age 5. Non-verbal cognitive ability at age 2 was generally the strongest predictor of age 5 language, while at age 3 communication scores were a stronger predictor of age 5 language for children with autism. Early joint attention as well as vocal and motor imitation skills were more impaired in children who did not develop language by age 5 (but had relatively strong non-verbal cognitive skills) than in children who did develop language by 5.



Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006