International Meeting for Autism Research (London, May 15-17, 2008): THE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY PROFILE NONVERBAL (LPP-NV): A MEASURE OF PRELINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

THE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY PROFILE NONVERBAL (LPP-NV): A MEASURE OF PRELINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

Friday, May 16, 2008
Champagne Terrace/Bordeaux (Novotel London West)
K. McFee , Clinical-Developmental Psychology, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
J. M. Bebko , Clinical-Developmental Psychology, York University, Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
K. Wells , Clinical-Developmental Psychology, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
J. J. Holden , Psychiatry & Physiology, Queen's Univerity, Kingston, ON, Canada
Background:   It is well recognized that individuals with autism display impairments in language and communication. Difficulties include delay or absence of spoken language, inability to direct or follow attention, and impaired use and comprehension of gestures, among others. Moreover, a broad repertoire of communication strategies is used within and across individuals (e.g. American Sign Language, home signs, gestures, speech, and pictures). Current assessment measures may not capture the full range of linguistic or communication abilities within this population. The LPP-NV evaluates a child’s overall developing language skills, independent of specific modality of expression or standard language. It focuses on prelinguistic levels of development, a stage at which children with autism generally demonstrate first symptoms (e.g. lack of joint attention or absence of pointing). The LPP-NV is a downward extension of the LPP-2, which measures communication at the linguistic level.

Objectives:   The present study investigates whether the LPP-NV captures the emerging and heterogeneous communication skills of children with autism. Further, whether this population demonstrates a unique profile of development on the LPP-NV.

Methods: One hundred children diagnosed with autism (ADI-R and DSM-IV) with two words/signs or less are compared to typically developing children, birth to 1.5 years of age. The LPP-NV is completed by primary caregivers, and includes five subscales: Form, Content, Reference, Use, and Cohesion.

Results: Findings explore the validity and reliability of the LPP-NV as a measure of prelinguistic communication for children with autism. Comparisons are made between children with autism and typically developing children to determine population strengths and weaknesses across subscales. Data analysis is currently underway.

Conclusions:   The LPP-NV holds potential as an early communication measure that better captures the broad repertoire of strategies used within this population. Utility as an early screening tool and for identifying areas requiring formal intervention is discussed.

See more of: Communication Posters 2
See more of: Poster Presentations