As researchers learn more about children with autism, and attitudes shift about treatment for this growing population, ASHA members have a lot to keep up with. Thankfully, the ASHA Journals have you covered, publishing dozens of articles every year to help our members provide these children with the services they need.

As we’ve done in the past, we’re honoring Autism Acceptance Month by highlighting some of our top articles published on autism in the past year. This year, all of the articles focus on children and young adults.

Speech, Language, and Hearing in Autistic Children and Young Adults

Utility of the Language Use Inventory in Young Children at Elevated Likelihood of Autism: With more children meeting the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder, pediatric speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can use accessible screening and assessment tools when children present with early language delays. Learn about how the Language Use Inventory can help clinicians spot signs of autism early, helping refer young children for a more comprehensive assessment.

A Comprehensive Analysis of Speech Disfluencies in Autistic Young Adults and Control Young Adults: Group Differences in Typical, Stuttering-Like, and Atypical Disfluencies: Disfluent speech can make effective communication difficult for autistic young adults. This article can help SLPs evaluate autistic young adults for disfluencies and understand the types of disfluencies that they may present with.

Hearing Assistive Technology Facilitates Sentence-in-Noise Recognition in Chinese Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Due to higher sensory responsivity, children with autism may have issues distinguishing speech in noise, which can be improved with hearing assisting technology. Although this has proved promising in English, the authors investigated whether or not technology could improve perception in children who speak Mandarin and other tonal languages.

Is Research on Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Reflected in the Clinical Practice of Speech-Language Pathologists? When working with autistic children with little to no functional speech, current standards suggest that SLPs should focus on teaching requesting skills using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The authors highlight the need to include additional social communication in AAC education and present a number of areas where further research is needed.

Working With Caregivers

“You Just Want to Be Able to Communicate With Your Child”: Parents’ Perspectives on Communication and AAC Use for Beginning Communicators on the Autism Spectrum: Children with autism are more likely to use their AAC devices when they meet the needs and priorities of the child’s family. This article features information acquired from caregiver interviews about the benefits and challenges involved in using AAC that can help SLPs better meet the needs of families and support AAC uptake.

Just-in-Time: A Caregiver-Mediated Intervention for Toddlers With Autism: Toddlers with autism need access to timely intervention in order to improve social communication, language, and behavioral outcomes. Training caregivers to implement evidence-based learning interventions via telepractice can help families who may not otherwise have access to early intervention services.  

More Autism Resources From ASHA’s Journals

Keeping up to date on recent developments and implementing evidence-based practice in your work can lead to better outcomes for the children and families with whom we work every day. These featured articles are just a sample of the information published on autism every year in ASHA Journals. Be sure to check the ASHA Journals regularly for more evidence-based research you can use to inform your clinical practice or future research of your own!