Journal article

Clinician Proposed Predictors of Spoken Language Outcomes for Minimally Verbal Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

David Trembath, Rebecca Sutherland, Teena Caithness, Cheryl Dissanayake, Valsamma Eapen, Kathryn Fordyce, Grace Frost, Teresa Iacono, Nicole Mahler, Anne Masi, Jessica Paynter, Katherine Pye, Sheena Reilly, Veronica Rose, Stephanie Sievers, Abirami Thirumanickam, Marleen Westerveld, Madonna Tucker



Our aim was to explore insights from clinical practice that may inform efforts to understand and account for factors that predict spoken language outcomes for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who use minimal verbal language. We used a qualitative design involving three focus groups with 14 speech pathologists to explore their views and experiences. Using the Framework Method of analysis, we identified 9 themes accounting for 183 different participant references to potential factors. Participants highlighted the relevance of clusters of fine-grained social, communication, and learning behaviours, including novel insights into prelinguistic vocal behaviours. The participants suggested th..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We kindly thank the clinicians who participated in this research. This research was supported by a grant from the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the study was conducted using the infrastructure and resources of the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres (ASLECCs) in Queensland (AEIOU Nathan ASELCC and Gold Coast Centre), Victoria (Margot Prior ASELCC), New South Wales (KU Marcia Burgess ASELCC), Tasmania (St Giles ASELCC), South Australia (Anglicare Daphne Street ASELCC), and Western Australia (Autism Association of Western Australia ASELCC). The ASELCCs were established through funding from the Department of Social Services. David Trembath was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council ECR FellXowship.