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Naturalistic Language Recordings Reveal "Hypervocal" Infants at High Familial Risk for Autism

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Publication Date:
Child Dev
Volume Number:
Issue Number:
Child Dev. 2018 Mar;89(2):e60-e73.
PubMed ID:
Appears in Collections:
U54 EB005149/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
P30 HD003110/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
T32 HD040127/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
K99 MH108700/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
U54 HD086984/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
K01 MH101653/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 HD055741/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Swanson M.R., Shen M.D., Wolff J.J., Boyd B., Clements M., Rehg J., Elison J.T., Paterson S., Parish-Morris J., Chappell J.C., Hazlett H.C., Emerson R.W., Botteron K., Pandey J., Schultz R.T., Dager S.R., Zwaigenbaum L., Estes A.M., Piven J. Naturalistic Language Recordings Reveal "Hypervocal" Infants at High Familial Risk for Autism. Child Dev. 2018 Mar;89(2):e60-e73. PMID: 28295208. PMCID: PMC5592123.
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Children's early language environments are related to later development. Little is known about this association in siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who often experience language delays or have ASD. Fifty-nine 9-month-old infants at high or low familial risk for ASD contributed full-day in-home language recordings. High-risk infants produced more vocalizations than low-risk peers; conversational turns and adult words did not differ by group. Vocalization differences were driven by a subgroup of "hypervocal" infants. Despite more vocalizations overall, these infants engaged in less social babbling during a standardized clinic assessment, and they experienced fewer conversational turns relative to their rate of vocalizations. Two ways in which these individual and environmental differences may relate to subsequent development are discussed.