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Current Psychiatry Reports

, 21:126 | Cite as

Pre- and Paralinguistic Vocal Production in ASD: Birth Through School Age

  • Lisa D. YankowitzEmail author
  • Robert T. Schultz
  • Julia Parish-Morris
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ES Brodkin, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract

Purpose of Review

We review what is known about how pre-linguistic vocal differences in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) unfold across development and consider whether vocalization features can serve as useful diagnostic indicators.

Recent Findings

Differences in the frequency and acoustic quality of several vocalization types (e.g., babbles and cries) during the first year of life are associated with later ASD diagnosis. Paralinguistic features (e.g., prosody) measured during early and middle childhood can accurately classify current ASD diagnosis using cross-validated machine learning approaches.

Summary

Pre-linguistic vocalization differences in infants are promising behavioral markers of later ASD diagnosis. In older children, paralinguistic features hold promise as diagnostic indicators as well as clinical targets. Future research efforts should focus on (1) bridging the gap between basic research and practical implementations of early vocalization-based risk assessment tools, and (2) demonstrating the clinical impact of targeting atypical vocalization features during social skill interventions for older children.

Keywords

Autism Paralinguistics Prosody Early diagnosis Speech production Acoustic properties 

Notes

Funding Information

This work supported by the Autism Science Foundation ASF #19-006 (grantee: Yankowitz), and NIDCD R03DC017944, “Infant Vocalizations as Early Markers of Autism Spectrum Disorder” (PI: Parish-Morris).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa D. Yankowitz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Robert T. Schultz
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Julia Parish-Morris
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Autism ResearchChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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