Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 2413–2428 | Cite as

Vocal Patterns in Infants with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Canonical Babbling Status and Vocalization Frequency

  • Elena PattenEmail author
  • Katie Belardi
  • Grace T. Baranek
  • Linda R. Watson
  • Jeffrey D. Labban
  • D. Kimbrough Oller
Original Paper


Canonical babbling is a critical milestone for speech development and is usually well in place by 10 months. The possibility that infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show late onset of canonical babbling has so far eluded evaluation. Rate of vocalization or “volubility” has also been suggested as possibly aberrant in infants with ASD. We conducted a retrospective video study examining vocalizations of 37 infants at 9–12 and 15–18 months. Twenty-three of the 37 infants were later diagnosed with ASD and indeed produced low rates of canonical babbling and low volubility by comparison with the 14 typically developing infants. The study thus supports suggestions that very early vocal patterns may prove to be a useful component of early screening and diagnosis of ASD.


Canonical babbling Volubility Vocal patterns Early detection 



This research was made possible through a grant from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD42168) and a Grant from Cure Autism Now Foundation (Sensory-Motor and Social-Communicative Symptoms of Autism in Infancy). We thank the families whose participation made this study possible and the staff who collected and processed data for this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Patten
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katie Belardi
    • 2
  • Grace T. Baranek
    • 3
  • Linda R. Watson
    • 2
  • Jeffrey D. Labban
    • 4
  • D. Kimbrough Oller
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersUniversity of North Carolina, GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of Allied Health SciencesUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Allied Health SciencesUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.University of North Carolina, GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  5. 5.The University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  6. 6.Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition ResearchKlosterneuburgAustria

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