Language and Cognition in Autism

What do we know about the variability in children’s language? What aspects of language are likely to be most challenging, even for children with large vocabularies and complex speech? How do language abilities and challenges change as children get older? And what can we do to help children’s language growth? These are some of the many questions we hope to explore through our study of language and cognition in autism.

Some psychologists think that individuals with autism may have difficulty with tasks that involve predicting what will happen next (consciously or unconsciously). The findings from this work are inconclusive. In the present study, predictive skills in a wide range of tasks — perceptual, cognitive, and linguistic — are explored. This exploration will allow us to tell if there are commonalities across these different abilities and whether children with autism have similar difficulties across the different tasks.

Currently, we are exploring these predictive skills in children with autism between the ages of 6-10. This study involves two sessions. The first takes around 2.5 hours and occurs in our lab on Harvard’s campus in Cambridge. The second session takes around 1.5 hours and occurs virtually on Zoom. After your child completes the first session they recieve a small toy of their choice you receive travel compensation! After your child completes the second session you receive $55 in Amazon gift cards!

Interested in learning more about our work or participating in our research? Email us at: [email protected].