Blog Archives

Phonology and vocal behavior in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders

The purpose of this study is to examine the phonological and other vocal productions of children, 18–36 months, with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to compare these productions to those of age-matched and language-matched controls. Speech samples were obtained from 30 toddlers with ASD, 11 age-matched toddlers and 23 language-matched toddlers during either parent–child or clinician–child play sessions. Samples were coded for a variety of speech-like and nonspeech vocalization productions. Toddlers with ASD produced speech-like vocalizations similar to those of language-matched peers, but produced significantly more atypical nonspeech vocalizations when compared to both control groups. Toddlers with ASD show speech-like sound production that is linked to their language level, in a manner similar to that seen in typical development. The main area of difference in vocal development in this population is in the production of atypical vocalizations. Findings suggest that toddlers with ASDs do not tune into the language model of their environment. Failure to attend to the ambient language environment negatively impacts the ability to acquire spoken language.

from Autism Research

Neuropathological Investigation of Regions Responsible for Semantic Aphasia in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

Background/Aims: Semantic dementia is a subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, of which an initial symptom is semantic aphasia. Semantic dementia pathologically corresponds to atypical Pick’s disease (aPiD), showing ubiq- uitin-positive inclusions similar to those in dementia with motor neuron disease (D-MND). Previous studies have not clarified the regions responsible for semantic aphasia in aPiD, and there have been no reported neuropathological studies concerning its pathomechanism. Methods: We neuropathologically investigated aPiD and D-MND cases with and without semantic aphasia. Results: We determined that the regions involved in the early stage of the disease course of semantic dementia were more restricted to the anterior and inferior portion of the temporal lobe on the side of the dominant hemisphere. Conclusion: Degeneration of the temporal pole is most likely to participate in the pathomechanism of SA in semantic dementia.

from Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders