Several studies have reported that “useful speech” at 5 years of age predicts outcomes in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but this skill has been vaguely defined. A recent longitudinal study investigated which specific aspects of expressive language in children with ASD best predict adult language and communication outcomes.
Hierarchical linear regression was used to compare the following childhood variables as predictors of adult language and communication outcomes: noun diversity, verb diversity, mean length of utterance, and proportion of utterances that were socially motivated.
Childhood verb diversity (meaning the number of verbs children understand or say) was a predictor in all four adult outcome measures (i.e., verbal IQ, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Communication + Social Interaction Algorithm totals, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test scores, and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales Communication Domain scores).
Look more into this and what it would look like to focus on adding verbs to your students expressive and receptive vocabulary repertoire today!