In this observational study, the authors examined the interactions of 16 young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents to investigate (a) differences in verbal responsiveness used by fathers and mothers in interactions with their children with ASD and (b) concurrent associations between the language skills of children with ASD and the verbal responsiveness of both fathers and mothers. For both fathers and mothers, parent verbal responsiveness was positively associated with child language skills. Mothers’ responsiveness was also significantly associated with child cognition. After controlling for child cognition, fathers’ verbal responsiveness continued to be significantly related to child language skills. Although other studies have documented associations between mothers’ responsiveness and child language, this is the 1st study to document a significant concurrent association between child language skills of children with ASD and the verbal responsiveness of fathers.
Flippin, Michelle & Watson, Linda R. (2015). Fathers’ and Mothers’ Verbal Responsiveness and the Language Skills of Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-13-0138