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Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
Number of Followers: 18  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2396-9415 - ISSN (Online) 2396-9415
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1176 journals]
  • Understanding the experiences and needs in autism education: A
           semi-structured interview among Chinese American parents of autistic

    • Authors: Xihan Yang, Eileen T Crehan
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and AimsThe diversity of the autistic population seeking professional services and education in the United States has increased. As the diagnosis of autism increases among the Chinese American immigrant population, there is also an increasing need to learn about this population and provide appropriate intervention and education for this group. However, current education and intervention provided for autistic individuals tend to be culturally blind. Gaps were found in our understanding of the cultural context and its relationship with the education mechanisms among Chinese American autistic families. The current study intends to investigate how Chinese American parents perceive the education materials and intervention strategies received by their autistic children as well as their experiences and needs in the education process.MethodSemi-structured interviews were conducted among 10 Chinese American parents (one father and nine mothers) online. They all had children who had a formal diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and received some intervention or education. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the results.ResultsThe study suggested that most Chinese American parents were satisfied with the current education materials and intervention strategies provided to their autistic children. Due to cultural-related stigma, parents differ in their perceptions of children's autism diagnosis and characteristics as well as their expectations of children's culturally sensitive education. A theoretical model was created to provide culture-centered interpretation of the interconnected relationship between their pre- and post-immigration contexts and parenting attitudes.ConclusionsCulture plays a critical role in understanding Chinese American parents’ experiences, needs, and expectations of culturally sensitive education for their autistic children. Interconnected relationships were found between contexts and parenting attitudes, which were largely influenced by cultural-related stigma.ImplicationsSuggestions and implications were provided for institutions and professionals working with Chinese American families and children. It is critical for them to learn about the experiences, needs, and attitudes of Chinese American parents to provide Chinese American autistic children with more appropriate and culturally sensitive education.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-12-01T06:44:58Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231217191
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • ‘It's really important to be collaborating’: Experiences of
           participatory research for Chinese and Vietnamese parents of autistic

    • Authors: Jodie Smith, Aspasia Stacey Rabba, Poulomee Datta, Emma Dresens, Rena Wang, Lin Cong, Ngoc Dang, Gabrielle Hall, Melanie Heyworth, Wenn Lawson, Patricia Lee, Rozanna Lilley, Emily Ma, Hau T T Nguyen, Kim-Van Nguyen, Phuc Nguyen, Chong Tze Yeow, Elizabeth Pellicano
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and aimsParticipatory research involves academic partners working together with the community that is affected by research to make decisions about that research. Such approaches often result in research that is more respectful of, and responsive to, community preferences – and is vital in the context of autism research with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Whilst participatory approaches are becoming more commonplace within CALD autism research, no studies have explored the experiences of being involved in autism research from the perspectives of CALD community partners over the course of a study. This paper intended to address this gap by reporting on the experiences of CALD parents of autistic children who were community partners in a 1-year Australian research project exploring home–school partnerships for CALD parents of autistic children. We aimed to: (1) report on how parents’ involvement in the research process shaped the home–school partnerships study over time and (2) understand their experiences of being community partners on the home–school partnerships project.MethodsUsing key principles of participatory approaches, we established Chinese and Vietnamese parent advisory groups to contribute to a project exploring home–school partnerships for parents of autistic children from CALD backgrounds in Australia. Advisory groups included parents of autistic children from Chinese/Vietnamese backgrounds, as well as interpreters, professionals and researchers. We documented how parents’ participation as community partners shaped the home–school partnerships study over the course of the project. We also elicited parents’ own views and experiences of being community partners through informal, open-ended questions at the beginning and end of the study.ResultsWe found that parents’ input fundamentally shaped the broader home–school partnership study, from meaningful, accurate translation of interview schedules through to making decisions regarding community-specific recommendations and dissemination plans. Parents themselves reported being keen to collaborate and to hear and share opinions for the purpose of the home–school partnership study – although they noted how emotionally difficult sharing their stories could be. While they initially had some concerns about combining being involved as a community partner with their existing responsibilities, ultimately, parents were surprised by the scope of the home–school partnership study and their level of involvement as community partners. Through hearing others’ stories and sharing their own in advisory group meetings, parents reported ancillary benefits of their involvement, including increased self-advocacy and well-being.ConclusionsThese findings show how research that is conducted in partnership with diverse members of the autism community has the capacity to improve the quality of the research and benefit community partners.ImplicationsThis study clearly documents the benefits and potential challenges of participatory approaches with CALD communities. These findings emphasise to researchers and funders the importance of including extra time and money within budgets in order to produce meaningful research that is respectful and responsive to communities.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-11-14T07:16:16Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231210482
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with autism spectrum
           disorder and their mothers in Japan

    • Authors: Hiroshi Asaoka, Shoji Okamura, Chitose Baba, Natsumi Fujimoto, Yuka Ishizuka, Tomoya Takahashi
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and aimsResearch on the psychological impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has highlighted its negative and positive effects on children with autism spectrum disorder and their families. However, little is known about the neutral effects that remain the same, even in particular circumstances, and how children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents perceive each other. We explored how children with autism spectrum disorder and their mothers perceived and experienced the pandemic in Japan.MethodsA mixed-methods design was employed. Thirteen children with autism spectrum disorder and 12 mothers participated. Data were collected through online semi-structured interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis. Similarities and differences in perceptions were compared.ResultsThe results revealed six broad themes and 27 categories. Regarding neutral effects, some mothers reported no substantial impact because there were no changes in their jobs or other dramatic life changes. In addition, some children were not affected because they had had no social contact before the pandemic or because their lives had not changed dramatically. Regarding the perceptions of children/mothers, most expressed that they/their children enjoyed spending time with their families. At home, mothers made various efforts to interact with their children. However, mothers and children differed in their perceptions, such as regarding the emergence of anxiety about conducting school events and the resolution of study-related concerns.ConclusionsThere were negative, neutral, and positive effects on both children with autism spectrum disorder and their mothers; specifically, they were striving to move forward to overcome the problems posed by the pandemic. Both parties tapped into their resilience by enhancing family interactions, such as cooking together or discussing children's interests.ImplicationsThese findings have important implications for developing more creative solutions to the challenges of coping and resilience in future crises.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-11-09T07:47:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231212347
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Peer mediation in play settings for minimally verbal students with autism
           Spectrum disorder

    • Authors: Gaëtan Briet, Gaïd Le Maner-Idrissi, Tanguy Seveno, Olivier Le Marec, Sandrine Le Sourn-Bissaoui
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and aimsPeer-mediated interventions (PMIs) are effective strategies to foster socialization of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in natural settings. However, research examining the efficacy of peer mediation for students with ASD who have the greatest cognitive and language impairments remains limited. Additionally, previous studies essentially targeted communicative abilities of participants. To address this gap, the present study evaluated the effects of a play-based PMI on three socio-communicative skills (play, social engagement and imitation) of minimally verbal students with ASD who also have a comorbidity of intellectual disability (ID).MethodsSeven children with ASD attending ordinary school settings and 14 typically developing (TD) preschoolers participated. Seven single-sex groups were formed, and children played together during two 30 min weekly sessions. TD children were trained according to the principles of the integrated play group model. We used a multiple-baseline design across participants to measure the effects of the intervention on play skills, social engagement and motor imitation of students with ASD.ResultsOutcomes revealed an intervention effect for most of the participants, despite some variations across children. After the peer training, four children increased their duration of functional/symbolic play, six children improved their duration of interactive play and five children increased their rates of motor imitation. Concerning maintenance gains, inter-individual differences are also important.Conclusions and implicationsThese findings suggest that a play-based PMI may be a feasible option for targeting inclusive education and improving socio-communicative skills of some minimally verbal students with ASD who also have an ID. However, variations across children invite further research to clarify how individual factors can moderate the effects of PMIs in children with ASD who are the most impaired.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-10-20T04:22:04Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231204837
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • “He’s shouting so loud but nobody’s hearing him”: A
           multi-informant study of autistic pupils’ experiences of school
           non-attendance and exclusion

    • Authors: Laura Gray, Vivian Hill, Elizabeth Pellicano
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and aimsChildren and young people on the autism spectrum frequently report a range of negative educational experiences and face disproportionally high rates of school non-attendance, including school avoidance and permanent exclusion, which can have a significant impact on their well-being as well as educational and broader life outcomes. To date, few studies have examined the full range of proximal (child, parent/family, school levels) and distal (community and society levels) barriers to ensuring the school attendance and the inclusion of autistic pupils. The current study sought to do just that by examining autistic young peoples’ school non-attendance and exclusion experiences from the perspectives of multiple informants.MethodsWe recruited 12 autistic pupils, who had previously experienced school avoidance and/or exclusion, from one local authority in England, United Kingdom. We conducted semi-structured interviews with the young people themselves, ten of their parents, eight of their current teachers and nine local authority professionals, including six educational psychologists and three specialist autism teachers. We analyzed interviewees’ responses using reflexive thematic analysis.ResultsInterviewees gave overwhelmingly negative accounts of autistic pupils’ school non-attendance and exclusion experiences. Our analysis identified a range of school-related factors they felt led to, or exacerbated, negative experiences in their former mainstream schools, and which ultimately led to their or their children's school non-attendance. It also went further to identify distal factors, including fragmented educational experiences, parents “fighting” against a complex bureaucratic system to secure appropriate education for their children, and limited professional involvement.ConclusionsOur findings emphasize the importance of examining the broader context in which autistic pupils are embedded and demonstrate that such pupils are able to successfully attend—and even enjoy—school when they receive the appropriate care and support.ImplicationsSchools and local authority professionals should seek to work in partnership with parents and autistic pupils to secure the necessary support for their inclusion in mainstream education. Government policy should support the provision of sufficient local authority professionals to adopt a more proactive approach to mitigate autistic pupils’ avoidance of and exclusion from school.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-10-18T07:00:45Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231207816
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • The development of the conversation skills assessment tool

    • Authors: Yurgos Politis, Ian Clemente, Zihyun Lim, Connie Sung
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and aimsHaving a conversation with someone or even more within a group of people is complex. We are never taught at school how to do it, which implies we consider having a conversation as something simple and straightforward. Instead, we just learn from observing others. Some people are great conversationalists – it comes naturally to them – while others struggle. Some people may not fully understand how the process works, how turn-taking happens, don’t understand visual cues such as body language and facial expressions, and fail to comprehend that some topics may be appropriate or inappropriate. This can be the case for both neurotypical and neurodivergent people. The Conversation skills Assessment Tool has been developed in this first instance to help in assessing and examining conversation skills in an intervention with young autistic adults on a virtual platform (a virtual world). This paper will present the evolution of the new measure through the exploratory phase, the development phase and finally a detailed account of the inter-rater reliability process.MethodsThe intervention associated with this study was carried out though a multiple baseline design with 3 autistic participants (in their early 20 s) and took place over 4 phases (15–17 sessions). The sessions involved semi-structured conversations in face-to-face (phases 1 and 4) and virtual (phases 2 and 3) settings and were videotaped with the participants’ consent. Twelve of those were used by this study in the development process through iterative inter-rater reliability stages between two coding teams.ResultsEvaluation of the Conversation skills Assessment Tool tool revealed the potential benefit of implementing interventions with measures that more objectively and concretely (e.g., by noting frequencies) assess observable behaviours that are associated with having positive conversations with others. Beyond this, it is anticipated that Conversation skills Assessment Tool can emerge as a tool capable of not only accounting for the environment an interaction takes place in (e.g., professional, casual), but also offers beneficial feedback for both autistic students and other populations (e.g., young children, English language learners).ConclusionsThis measure has the potential to offer quantifiable and trackable guidance to people who have difficulties conversing. The authors do not wish to perpetuate an ableist social construct of what is a ‘good’ conversation, nor do they suggest that conversation skills training is useful solely for people with communication and/or socialization difficulties. Rather, they hope that Conversation skills Assessment Tool can be adopted more broadly to give both neurotypical and neurodivergent people a better understanding of how to communicate more effectively with others, while also becoming more aware and accepting of differing conversational styles.ImplicationsBecause of its ability to track (or self-monitor) one's development of conversational skills over time, Conversation skills Assessment Tool could serve as an educative tool in early childhood education. It can be used by occupational/speech therapists and other professionals and also used to self-monitor one's development of conversational skills. Conversation skills Assessment Tool was developed to assess conversation skills on a one-to-one basis; therefore, another iteration of Conversation skills Assessment Tool would have to look at group conversations.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-08-24T09:51:17Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231196063
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • What parents want: A qualitative analysis of a parent-implemented
           intervention for autistic children

    • Authors: Nancie Im-Bolter, Laura de la Roche
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and aimsGuidelines regarding social cognitive interventions for autistic children suggest incorporating a holistic approach. This includes increasing the family’s understanding of difficulties associated with autism, integrations of natural environments, and parents as active agents in the intervention while being supported for their well-being. The current availability of holistic parent-implemented interventions for autistic children is limited, with no qualitative understanding of how parents view the benefits for themselves or their children.MethodThe current study expands the literature regarding holistic approaches through a qualitative understanding of parent perceptions of a parent-implemented social communication intervention for autistic children (TalkAbility™), which incorporates a 6-month follow-up. This study sought to gain a deeper understanding from parents on their perceptions of a holistic approach, including the impact on themselves, their families, and their autistic child.ResultsFollowing Braun and Clarke’s model of thematic analysis, data was coded into four themes: (a) communication difficulties, frustrations, and progress, (b) social relationships and concerns, (c) communication strategies, and (d) thoughts and emotions surrounding TalkAbility™.ConclusionsParents report that many components of a holistic approach are instrumental in encouraging social communication in their autistic child. Results highlight the importance of considering parent experiences regarding interventions for their child’s social communication skills through a qualitative viewpoint.ImplicationsKnowing the intervention aspects that parents view as most valuable allows targeted program modifications that reflect actual parent needs. Further understanding regarding the influence of holistic parent-implemented social communication interventions on child communication skills, parenting frustrations, and parent–child relationships is needed.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-08-03T06:23:08Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231189606
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Evaluating the online delivery of an autistic-led programme to support
           newly diagnosed or identified autistic adults

    • Authors: Laura Crane, Caroline Hearst, Maria Ashworth, Jade Davies
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background & aimsExploring Being Autistic is an autistic-led group-based programme providing psychoeducation and peer support to newly identified/diagnosed autistic adults. In 2020, due to social distancing measures implemented following the coronavirus pandemic, Exploring Being Autistic was adapted for online delivery. Here, we aimed to replicate previous research into the in-person delivery of Exploring Being Autistic, to determine whether similar results were obtained when the programme was delivered online. Further, we aimed to identify the unique opportunities and challenges that online delivery afforded.MethodsWe used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, whereby the autistic developer and facilitator of Exploring Being Autistic worked collaboratively with a team of academic researchers throughout the research process. Together, we evaluated two iterations of the online Exploring Being Autistic programme, involving 16 attendees. Attendees completed questionnaires before, during and after the programme. Attendees were also invited to participate in two post-programme (group or individual) interviews: one following the completion of the programme (time one) and another 6–8 months later (time two). Attendees were included in the research if they completed at least one questionnaire or interview. Data were analysed qualitatively, using reflexive thematic analysis.ResultsExperiences of participating in the programme tended to be positive. Participants appreciated the autistic-led nature of the programme, found unity in the diversity of the group, and developed a positive and practical outlook as a result of the programme. Further analyses of our data revealed mixed views regarding the online delivery of the programme. Opportunities of online delivery were noted, such as this mode of participation reducing cognitive load, enabling the programme to be accessible to more participants, and fostering meaningful social connections among participants. However, technology and practical issues were felt to cause barriers, and some human aspects of participation were felt to be ‘lost in translation’ (e.g., in breakout groups).ConclusionsThe online delivery of the Exploring Being Autistic programme yielded similar results to previous, in-person evaluations of the programme. While we identified positive aspects of online delivery, this mode did not entirely suit everyone's needs.ImplicationsFrom the current findings, we can make several recommendations to develop online support for autistic people. First, flexibility is key. To make support accessible and inclusive to a broad range of autistic people, the option for attendees to engage in-person, online or in hybrid formats should be considered. Second, if delivering support online, the use of breakout rooms should be carefully considered. While participants appreciated the opportunity to meet different people, some participants found the unpredictability and lack of scaffolding associated with breakout rooms challenging. To mitigate these challenges, groups could be pre-determined and shared with the attendees in advance (although consideration should be given to how the groups ‘fit’ together, and whether groupings should be changed at set intervals). Gentle warnings should also be given to those in breakout rooms, to alert them of the need to re-join the main group. Finally, support with technological aspects relating to engagement should be prioritised.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-07-27T07:55:53Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231189608
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Behaviors related to autism spectrum disorder in children with
           developmental language disorder and children with 22q11.2 deletion

    • Authors: Iris Selten, Tessel Boerma, Emma Everaert, Ellen Gerrits, Michiel Houben, Frank Wijnen, Jacob Vorstman
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Aim.Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) are at an increased risk to develop behaviors associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The relationship between early language difficulties and the occurrence of ASD-related behaviors in DLD is poorly understood. One factor that may hinder progress in understanding this relationship is the etiological heterogeneity of DLD. We therefore study this relationship in an etiologically homogeneous group of children, who share phenotypic characteristics with children with DLD: children with the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS). We compare children with 22q11DS, to children with DLD and age-matched typically developing children (TD).Method44 children with 22q11DS, 65 children with DLD and 81 TD children, between 3.0–6.5 years old, participated in a longitudinal cohort study that included a baseline measure and a follow-up measure with a 1-year interval. A parental questionnaire (SRS-2) was used to measure the incidence of behaviors in two key behavioral domains associated with ASD: Social Communication and Interaction and Restricted Repetitive Behaviors and Interests. At baseline, we assessed children's expressive and receptive language abilities as well as their intellectual functioning with standardized tests. We compared the distribution of ASD-related behaviors between the three groups. We used regression analyses to investigate whether language abilities at baseline predict ASD-related behavior at follow-up, accounting for ASD-related behavior at baseline, demographic variables and intellectual functioning.ResultsBoth the children with 22q11DS and the children with DLD displayed significantly more ASD-related behaviors than the TD children. Over 30% of children in both clinical groups had scores exceeding the subclinical threshold for ASD in both behavioral domains. Both in 22q11DS and DLD, baseline receptive language scores were negatively correlated with ASD-related behaviors 1 year later, when controlling for baseline SRS-scores. However, this association was statistically significant only in children with 22q11DS, even when controlled for IQ-scores, and it was significantly stronger as than in the TD group. The strength of the association did not differ significantly between 22q11DS and DLD.ConclusionBoth children with 22q11DS and children with DLD present with elevated rates of ASD-related behaviors at a preschool-age. Only in children with 22q11DS we observed that weaker receptive language skills were related to increased behavioral problems in the domain of social communication and interaction one year later.ImplicationsOur findings indicate that relations between early language impairment and other behavioral phenotypes may be more feasible to detect in a subgroup of children with a homogeneous etiology, than in a group of children with a heterogeneous etiology (such as children with DLD). Our results in 22q11DS reveal that receptive language is especially important in predicting the occurrence of ASD-related behaviors. Future research is needed to determine to what extent receptive language predicts the occurrence of ASD-related behaviors in children with DLD, especially among those children with DLD with the weakest receptive language. Clinically, screening for ASD-related behaviors in children with developmental language difficulties is recommended from a young age, especially among children with receptive language difficulties.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-06-20T02:17:36Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231179844
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Linguistic markers of autism spectrum conditions in narratives: A
           comprehensive analysis

    • Authors: Kristen Schroeder, Joana Rosselló, Teresa Ribalta Torrades, Wolfram Hinzen
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background & Aims: Narratives are regularly elicited as part of standardized assessments for autism spectrum conditions (ASC) such as the ADOS, but have rarely been utilized as linguistic data in their own right. We here aimed for a specific and comprehensive quantitative linguistic profile of such narratives across nominal, verbal, and clausal domains of grammatical organization, and error patterns. Methods: We manually transcribed and annotated narratives elicited from the ADOS from a sample of bilingual autistic Spanish-Catalan children (n = 18), matched with typically developing controls (n = 18) on vocabulary-based verbal IQ. Results: Results revealed fewer relative clauses and more frequent errors in referential specificity and non-relational content-word choice in ASC. Frequent error types are also discussed qualitatively. Conclusions & Implications: These findings, based on more finegrained linguistically defined variables, help to disentangle previous inconsistencies in the literature, and to better situate language changes in the spectrum of neurocognitive changes in this population.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-04-18T04:20:25Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231168557
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Reading ebooks and printed books with parents: A case study of children
           with autism spectrum disorders

    • Authors: Sung Hee Lee, Aja McKee
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and aimsEbooks have become a ubiquitous presence in many classrooms today. Yet, empirical evidence on literacy development has not been well produced, especially for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This mixed-method case study aimed to explore how four children with ASD interact with ebooks and printed books with parents at home.MethodsFour children (age 5–7 years) with ASD and their parents read one animated ebook and another printed book over four separate sessions. Parents also explained preselected word meanings to their children. In this mixed-method case study, we examined multiple quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence related to reading with parents at home.ResultsQuantitatively, all four children with ASD learned more word meanings from ebook than from the printed book, and three demonstrated a higher engagement with ebook than the printed book reading. Qualitatively, the majority of parents felt their children's engagement was higher with ebook than with printed book. Children with ASD tend to have tactile-related experiences while reading the printed book and auditory-related experiences during the ebook reading. Qualitative data also demonstrated a particular feature reported to be beneficial in previous research could be distracting for some children with ASD.ImplicationsWhen parents are trained to explain critical word meanings to their children, animated ebooks can effectively improve the meaning-making skills of children with ASD. Findings also highlight the importance of individualized attention when choosing and using ebooks for children with ASD.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-04-17T06:29:45Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231168571
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Affiliate stigma and related factors among parents of autism spectrum
           condition: A pilot study from mainland China

    • Authors: Yu Ma, Liz Yuanxi Lee, Xuemin Zhang
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      BackgroundAutistic individuals show differences in social and behavioral performances. Autism-related stigma affects autistic children as well as their caregivers (e.g., parents). Research has shown that stigmatizing reactions from others toward caregivers of autistic children are common and that these caregivers suffer from affiliate stigma.AimsTo examine the level of affiliate stigma among parents of autistic children and its predictive factors in mainland China.MethodsThis was a cross-sectional study involving parents of autistic children from mainland China. The sample consisted of 183 parents (mean age  =  36.5 years). The measures assessed included demographic characteristics, and parents completed two questionnaires. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) was used to evaluate the characteristics of children by their parent's subjective assessments, and the Affiliate Stigma Scale (ASS) was used to investigate the affiliate stigma level of parents.ResultsThe affiliate stigma levels of parents of autistic children were high, and the mean score of the affect subscale was higher than those of the other subscales. The mean ASS score differed significantly between employed and unemployed parents, those aged under 40 and over 40, and high- and low-income parents. The hierarchical regression analysis showed that parents’ age, monthly household income, and mean SRS score were significant predictors of the mean ASS score. The results indicated that parents of autistic children and their children need more social support and inclusion in mainland China.ConclusionThe present study confirms the importance of studying primary caregivers (i.e., parents) in the context of traditional mainland Chinese culture. Although preliminarily, findings showed that the affiliate stigma levels of parents are high in mainland China, probably due to the influence of traditional cultural values. Moreover, considering the importance of autistic child characteristics, our results suggest that we should increase public knowledge of autism, enrich the general understanding of autism, and reduce the autism-related stigma of parents in mainland Chinese societies.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-04-11T05:09:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231168567
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • The cross-racial/ethnic gesture production of young autistic children and
           their parents

    • Authors: Adrienne De Froy, Pamela Rosenthal Rollins
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background & AimsEarly gesture plays an important role in prelinguistic/emerging linguistic communication and may provide insight into a child's social communication skills before the emergence of spoken language. Social interactionist theories suggest children learn to gesture through daily interactions with their social environment (e.g., their parents). As such, it is important to understand how parents gesture within interactions with their children when studying child gesture. Parents of typically developing (TD) children exhibit cross-racial/ethnic differences in gesture rate. Correlations between parent and child gesture rates arise prior to the first birthday, although TD children at this developmental level do not yet consistently exhibit the same cross-racial/ethnic differences as their parents. While these relationships have been explored in TD children, less is known about the gesture production of young autistic children and their parents. Further, studies of autistic children have historically been conducted with predominantly White, English-speaking participants. As a result, there is little data regarding the gesture production of young autistic children and their parents from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds. In the present study, we examined the gesture rates of racially/ethnically diverse autistic children and their parents. Specifically, we explored (1) cross-racial/ethnic differences in the gesture rate of parents of autistic children, (2) the correlation between parent and child gesture rates, and (3) cross-racial/ethnic differences in the gesture rates of autistic children.MethodsParticipants were 77 racially/ethnically diverse cognitively and linguistically impaired autistic children (age 18 to 57 months) and a parent who participated in one of two larger intervention studies. Naturalistic parent–child and structured clinician–child interactions were video recorded at baseline. Parent and child gesture rate (number of gestures produced per 10 min) were extracted from these recordings.Results(1) Parents exhibited cross-racial/ethnic differences in gesture rate such that Hispanic parents gestured more frequently than Black/African American parents, replicating previous findings in parents of TD children. Further, South Asian parents gestured more than Black/African American parents. (2) The gesture rate of autistic children was not correlated with parent gesture, a finding that differs from TD children of a similar developmental level. (3) Autistic children did not exhibit the same cross-racial/ethnic differences in gesture rate as their parents, a result consistent with findings from TD children.ConclusionsParents of autistic children—like parents of TD children—exhibit cross-racial/ethnic differences in gesture rate. However, parent and child gesture rates were not related in the present study. Thus, while parents of autistic children from different ethnic/racial backgrounds appear to be conveying differences in gestural communication to their children, these differences are not yet evident in child gesture.ImplicationsOur findings enhance our understanding of the early gesture production of racially/ethnically diverse autistic children in the prelinguistic/emerging linguistic stage of development, as well as the role of parent gesture. More research is needed with developmentally more advanced autistic children, as these relationships may change with development.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-03-06T05:01:37Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231159548
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • “I’m able to function better when I know there's a beginning and an
           end time”: Autistic adolescents’ experiences of lockdowns during the
           COVID-19 pandemic

    • Authors: Lorna G. Hamilton, Laura Kelly, Sue Mesa
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and AimsSurvey research indicates that autistic children and young people experienced high levels of anxiety and isolation during lockdowns in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Meanwhile, qualitative studies suggest that there may have been some benefits in the switch to home learning for this population. However, the majority of evidence to date comes from parent reports; the current study aimed to triangulate the perspectives of autistic youth and their parents in order to more fully understand the impact of periods of lockdown on education, relationships, and wellbeing.MethodsThirteen semistructured interviews were conducted (six with adolescents, seven with parents) to explore the experiences of a group of autistic youth aged 13–14 years (Year 9 of mainstream education in England) during a period of intermittent lockdown. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.ResultsTwo broad themes capturing commonality and diversity in the adolescents’ experiences of lockdown were developed. (1) “Different stress, not less stress” encapsulates the finding that, despite the enforced removal from the school environment providing short-term relief, new stressors contributed to consistently high levels of anxiety for the young people throughout lockdown periods. Stressors included managing home-school within the family unit, navigating time without boundaries, and anxiety about the virus. (2) “A shrunken world” reflects the heightened impact of losing access to meaningful social relationships, extracurricular pursuits, and health-promoting activities for autistic youth.DiscussionThe early stages of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic caused serious disruption to education for many children and young people globally,;our findings provide further evidence that the impact was particularly salient for autistic youth in terms of social isolation, lost learning, and heightened anxiety.Implications:These findings underscore the necessity of long-term support for the education, social needs, and mental health of autistic young people in the aftermath of lockdowns in response to COVID-19.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-03-01T07:35:55Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231159552
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Examining the contribution of motivation in the job search of youth with
           developmental language disorder

    • Authors: Pascale Dubois, Frédéric Guay, Marie-Catherine St-Pierre
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background & aimsYouth with developmental language disorder (DLD) are at risk of experiencing challenges during their job search. It is thus crucial to promote efficient job search behaviors in terms of effort, intensity, and self-regulation. Based on self-determination theory (SDT), we verified the role of autonomous and controlled motivations in enhancing these behaviors.MethodsStudy 1 included 37 young adults with DLD who have finished school, and Study 2 included 52 youth with DLD transitioning from school to work. They completed a questionnaire examining their job search behaviors and their motivation toward their job search.ResultsAutonomous motivation positively predicted job search effort, intensity, and self-regulation. Small to moderate relations were observed in Study 1, and moderate to strong ones in Study 2. Controlled motivation was unrelated to the three behaviors.ConclusionsIn line with SDT, autonomous motivation is an important foundation for positive job search behaviors among youth with DLD.ImplicationsSupporting the development of autonomous motivation is thus encouraged in transition services for this population.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-02-06T11:03:55Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231152094
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
  • Echolalia as defined by parent communication partners

    • Authors: Eli G Cohn, Keith R McVilly, Matthew J Harrison
      Abstract: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Volume 8, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Backgrounds and aimsEcholalia, the repetition of previous speech, is highly prevalent in Autism. Research into echolalia has historically assumed a clinical standpoint, with two opposing paradigms, behaviourism and developmentalism, offering differing support and intervention programs. These paradigms offer a multitude of clinical operationalised definitions; despite attempts, there continue to be challenges regarding how echolalia is to be defined. Stepping out of the dichotomous clinically orientated literature, we examined how parents summarise and formalise their understanding of echolalia as a communication partner. The objectives of this study were three-fold: (1) to investigate how echolalia is described and defined by parents; (2) to examine if existing clinical definitions align with those of parents; and (3) to begin to consider the implications of such findings for a collaborative approach between clinical perspectives and the parent experience. We bring to the fore the voices of parents, who have historically remained absent from echolalia literature. That is to say, we step outside of the clinical realm and listen to parents: something which has been previously unconsidered but represents a new vital addition to the echolalia literature.MethodsWe employed a Grounded Theory approach to document the definitions of 133 parents.ResultsWe found that parents reported a multiplicity of important elements that are key to their understanding of echolalia.Conclusions and implicationsAdditionally, we found that clinical definitions do not resonate within the parent experience; parents experience echolalia in a different way to that of clinicians and parents can offer insight into our understanding of the phenomena. Our findings show that while some parents might align themselves with either a behavioural or developmental positionality, sometimes there is an overlap depending upon the context in which their child repeats and some parents advance interpretations that are not readily aligned with either of the traditional clinical schools of thought. We present implications for both clinicians and parents in ways that point towards a collaborative approach to support the person with echolalia.
      Citation: Autism & Developmental Language Impairments
      PubDate: 2023-01-26T05:37:44Z
      DOI: 10.1177/23969415231151846
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2023)
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