Purpose: This was a companion study to a previous one (Biller & Johnson, 2019). The purpose was to develop a detailed descriptive profile of a minimally verbal child with a unique medical history and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present report describes his social-cognitive and speech sound production abilities in relation to his potentially burgeoning spoken language. Method: This in-depth, descriptive, clinical single-case study focused on a 3-year-old boy who was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality and ASD. The size of his spoken vocabulary fell at the upper limit for classifying a child as minimally verbal. His demographic information was obtained, in addition to general information from his mother. Four social-cognitive and three speech sound production abilities were assessed, as well as his overall performance in both domains. The study included a parent interview and two child assessment sessions. Results: The child exhibited low social-cognitive and speech sound production abilities for his age, with social-social-cognitive abilities higher than speech sound production abilities. Comparison with the previous study revealed substantial gaps in social cognition and speech sound production between this child and five other minimally verbal children with ASD. His higher abilities in these two domains co-occurred with his larger spoken vocabulary size. Conclusions: Although the child’s social-cognitive abilities were low for his age, with his speech sound production abilities even lower, both domains were perhaps high enough to support spoken vocabulary at the upper limit for minimally verbal children. Indeed, there appeared to be quantitative and qualitative differences between him and other minimally verbal children in the previous study. The possibility was explored that there is a point or threshold along the developmental continua for social cognition and speech sound production that allows for expansion into useful cognitive language.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing