Predictors of Social Communication in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Keywords:ASD, play, vocabulary, social communication
The present study aims to investigate the relationship between social communication and play, vocabulary and non-verbal communication in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A number of 50 participants, aged between 3 and 6 years with a diagnosis of ASD, took part in the study. The data was collected through standardized questionnaires that were completed by the parents of the children: the Assessment Protocol of Pragmatic Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (PAHPEA) to measure pragmatic skills and communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Infant-Toddler Checklist to measure play, vocabulary and non-verbal communication.
After collecting and analyzing the data, our results revealed that there is significant positive associations between social communication and play, vocabulary and non-verbal communication. After that, a regression analysis was performed, that revealed that non-verbal communication is a predictor of social communication, more precisely pragmatic skills, in children with ASD. Moreover, we also found that word comprehension could be considered a significant predictor for social communication.