SRCLD 2022 SRCLD Presentation Details
    Do maternal gesture-speech combinations provide a helping hand for language development in autism?  
Nevena Dimitrova - Georgia State University
Seyda Özçaliskan - Georgia State University
Lauren Adamson - Georgia State University

SRCLD Year: 2014
Presentation Type: Special Session
Presentation Time: (na)
In this study we ask whether mothers of typically developing (TD) children and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) differ in their use of gesture in relation to speech and whether this has any effect on children’s language outcome. We coded the gesture-speech combinations produced by mothers of 23 TD children (Mage=18-months) and 23 children with ASD (Mage=30-months). We found no effect of group on the way maternal gestures related to speech. We also found that gesture-speech complexity mattered—but only for the TD group, with an association between more complex maternal gesture-speech combinations and children’s vocabulary one-year later. Our results suggest that mothers of children with ASD do not mirror their children, but instead show patterns similar to mothers of TD children in the way they relate gesture to speech. However, the facilitative effect of maternal complex gesture-speech combinations on language development for TD children may not occur as readily for children with ASD. Grant support: Swiss National Science Foundation (Dimitrova, PI), R01HD035612 (Adamson, PI) and NSF-BCS1251337 (Özçaliskan, PI).
Author Biosketch(es)