Assessing Communication in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Who Are Minimally Verbal
Purpose of review
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are minimally verbal may often require timely and tailored intervention to optimize their short- and long-term communication outcomes. Effective intervention relies on appropriate and accurate assessment. The purposes of this review are to summarize current and emerging issues and practices in the assessment of these children and to consider implications for research and clinical practice.
There is growing awareness of the need for improved assessment practices and emerging consensus regarding principles that should underpin the assessment process. Enhanced use of existing assessment tools, as well adoption of emerging tools, has the potential to improve practice. However, there remains a general lack of specific, sensitive, and clinically useful tools for this population.
Although the importance of appropriate assessment for children with ASD who are minimally verbal is well established, there remains a critical need for concerted effort to enhance approaches currently available.
KeywordsAutism Communication Assessment Prelinguistic Minimally verbal Language
The writing of this review was informed by research completed as part of a research project aimed at supporting best practice in the assessment and treatment of children with ASD who are minimally verbal, funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. We would like to acknowledge the children, parents, clinicians, educators, and researchers at the six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres (ASELCCS) in Australia and researcher colleagues at Griffith University, La Trobe University, and the University of New South Wales.
David Trembath was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council ECR Fellowship (GNT1071811). The paper was also supported by funding (to HTF) from the National Institutes of Health (P50 DC 13027) and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (Award # 624201).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
David Trembath reports grants from National Health and Medical Research Council (GNT1071811) and grants from Australian Department of Social Services during the conduct of the study. Jessica Paynter and Rebecca Sutherland report grants from the Australian Department of Social Services. Helen Tager-Flusberg reports grants from the National Institutes of Health (P50 DC 13027) and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (Award # 624201).
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.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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