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The Development of Language Comprehension in Children with Autism: A Longitudinal Study Using the Intermodal Preferential Looking Program (funded through NAAR) 

Through this grant, Dr. Naigles investigated early language acquisition in children with autism. Is the process of language acquisition in children with autism similar to that of typically developing children? What do language comprehension measures reveal about the process and products of language acquisition in children with autism? Dr. Naigles accessed language of children with autism using comprehension measures that may reveal both hidden strengths and weaknesses in their language acquisition. Using a method called “Intermodal Preferential Looking”, a child observes two simultaneously presented video events while listening to linguistic stimulus that describes only one of the events. If the child watches the matching event more than the nonmatching event, the child is inferred to have comprehended the linguistic stimulus. This research has the potential to provide information concerning treatment strategies and insights into deficits and strengths in language comprehension of children with autism.