Understanding Abilities in Minimally Verbal Children with ASD: Evidence from Brain and Behavior
Monday, December 10, 2018
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Speaker: Dr. Charlotte DiStefano, UCLA
Approximately 25% of individuals with ASD remain minimally verbal despite access to intervention. Although unified by the lack of spoken language, the minimally verbal ASD population exhibits considerable heterogeneity with regard to cognitive, social and receptive language abilities. This variability likely results in part from the fact that many different pathways can lead to expressive language impairment. Improving outcomes for this subgroup of the autism spectrum requires better characterization and understanding of their abilities, in order to understand the underlying deficits. This talk will present research from multiple levels of investigation within the minimally verbal population, including behavioral and clinical characterization, resting state electrophysiology, and electrophysiological investigation of auditory and lexical processing profiles of children with ASD across language levels. Ultimately, the goal of this work is to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of language impairment in the ASD population, in order to predict developmental trajectories and discover individualized avenues for intervention.