Objectives: This study investigated the relationships among scores on standardized language assessments obtained from school-aged children with ASD by both direct observation and parent reports. These assessments were obtained from children with fluent speech who were able to complete the direct-observation measures.
Methods: Twenty-nine participants (age range 5 – 12 years; IQ M=102.31; SD=21.71) were given a battery of language assessments. Direct observation measures included the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF-IV), which measures different aspects of language development, and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-IV), which tests receptive vocabulary. Parent-report questionnaires included the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS-II), which assesses an individual’s adaptive skills, and the Children’s Communication Checklist (CCC-2), which measures children’s communication skills in the areas of pragmatics, syntax, morphology, semantics and speech.
Results: Analysis of the CELF-IV core language scores revealed no significant difference between expressive (EL) and receptive (RL) language standard scores. Significant correlations emerged between core standard scores on the CELF-IV and standard scores on the PPVT-IV (r=0.888**). CELF-IV and PPVT-IV standard scores were also significantly correlated with the VABS-II Language Composite Score (CELF & VABS r=0.682**; PPVT & VABS r=0.616**). However, the CCC-2 General Communication Composite score was found to correlate with only the VABS Language Composite Score (r=0.506**). [**p<0.01]
Conclusions: This is the first report of consistency among language measures in school-age children with ASD, including measures of receptive and expressive language derived from both direct assessment and parent-report measures. Results suggest that the parent-report and direct observation assessments used in this study are consistent and reliable measures of language in school-age children with ASD.