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New Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised Algorithms for Toddlers and Young Preschoolers from 12 to 47 Months of Age

Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (Rutter et al. in Autism diagnostic interview-revised. Western Psychological Services, Los Angeles, 2003) diagnostic algorithms specific to toddlers and young preschoolers were created using 829 assessments of children aged from 12 to 47 months with ASD, nonspectrum disorders, and typical development. The participants were divided into three more homogeneous groups by language level and age. Items that best differentiated the diagnostic groups were selected and arranged into domains based on multifactor item-response analyses. Using the new algorithms for toddlers and preschool children, we were able to improve sensitivity and specificity compared to the previously developed algorithm.

from the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

Three Profiles of Language Abilities in Toddlers With an Expressive Vocabulary Delay: Variations on a Theme

Conclusion: These results shed new light on the notion of heterogeneity in toddlers who present with an EVD by proposing subgroups among them. A follow-up investigation of these participants is ongoing.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Randomized Controlled Trial of the Focus Parent Training for Toddlers with Autism: 1-Year Outcome

This randomized controlled trial compared results obtained after 12 months of nonintensive parent training plus care-as-usual and care-as-usual alone. The training focused on stimulating joint attention and language skills and was based on the intervention described by Drew et al. (Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatr 11:266–272, 2002). Seventy-five toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (65 autism, 10 PDD-NOS, mean age = 34.4 months, SD = 6.2) were enrolled. Analyses were conducted on a final sample of 67 children (lost to follow-up = 8). No significant intervention effects were found for any of the primary (language), secondary (global clinical improvement), or mediating (child engagement, early precursors of social communication, or parental skills) outcome variables, suggesting that the ‘Focus parent training’ was not of additional value to the more general care-as-usual.

from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Test-Retest Reliability of Independent Measures of Phonology in the Assessment of Toddlers’ Speech.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the temporal stability of 5 independent measures of phonological skill: phonetic inventory (initial, final), word shape, syllable structure level, and the index of phonetic complexity. Method: Ten toddlers with typical development participated in two 20-min play sessions within a 1-week period. Test-retest reliability for each measure was determined. Results: Syllable structure level and index of phonetic complexity achieved high test-retest reliability. Word-final phonetic inventory and word shape analyses had moderate but not significant reliability. Word-initial phonetic inventory was not reliable. Discussion: Twenty-minute conversational speech samples were insufficient to obtain reliable results for all measures. Practitioners may want to obtain more extensive sampling when using a phonetic inventory for diagnosis or progress monitoring purposes. Reliable measures within the constraint of a 20-min session, syllable structure level and index of phonetic complexity provide summarized information concerning the phonetic and syllabic characteristics of a child’s speech. Syllable structure level places less emphasis on accurate phonetic transcription, making it a good option for speech that is difficult to transcribe. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
from Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools