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Auteur: Caroline MASSON

Prelinguistic vocalizations of an infant with autism from 9 to 12 months: observing risk factors of speech disorder in canonical babbling stage?

Abstract/Résumé: Canonical babbling represents a major advance in linguistic development: infants begin to produce syllabic patterns of target language. Babbling appears to occur in all infants: as well in children of low socioeconomic status as Down syndrome (Oller et al, 1994), highlighting its robustness. Continuity between prelinguistic stage and first words stage in typical infants shows that canonical babbling constitutes early precursor to language development. Then, following studies regarding language in the fist year of life (i.e. Oller et al, 1999, 2010; Locke, 1989), we suppose that babbling contains early evidences for speech disorders. Language characteristics of older verbal infants with autism are described since several years (i.e. Tuchman, Rapin & Shinnar, 1991; Rapin, 1997) and revealed deficits of linguistic behavior and many particularities (echolalia, pragmatic difficulties, voice problems…). However, few studies have been interested in the early linguistic development of autistic infants (Sheinkopf et al, 2000). It seems there are non-standard uses in babbled utterances, which could characterize atypicalities of vocal development and enhance criteria for early diagnostic of autism (Sheinkopf et al, 2000). To better understand the atypicalities of canonical babbling, we analyzed speech-like vocalizations of an infant with autism between 9 and 12 months. The data is drawn from home movies recorded by the parents, in ecological situations. Leaning on recent studies concerning early diagnostic or potential risk factors of autism (for example, Dawson et al, 2000; Iverson & Wozniak, 2007), we described if it appears in this infant’s babbling elements could predict impairment in the onset of speech production.