Early speech exposure could boost language skills for kids with autism

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The more words autistic children hear as infants — and the more verbal interactions they have with their caregivers — the better their language skills at age two, a new study suggests. The quantity of speech young children hear in the home is known to have a strong influence on language development and in turn, on reading skills and school readiness.

The new study, which used LENA technology, is the first to look at this association in autistic children under one year old. Its findings suggest that coaching parents who have one autistic child to talk to their later babies could be beneficial, says lead investigator Meghan Swanson.

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