LuCiD Seminar: Exploring word learning difficulties in minimally-verbal children with autism spectrum disorder

Dr Calum Hartley (Lancaster University), will present the next LuCiD seminar on Exploring word learning difficulties in minimally-verbal children with autism spectrum disorderThe seminar will take place from 11.00-12.30 on Tuesday 4th April at the University of Manchester and is open to anyone wishing to attend.


Word learning is a vital aspect of children's language development. However, many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have enormous difficulty learning words and approximately 30% are minimally-verbal at 9 years of age. To identify the source (or sources) of their difficulties, it is necessary to explore word learning as a multi-stage sequence that includes: (a) identification of a word’s intended meaning, (b) retention of the word-referent pairing, and (c) appropriate extension of the word to new category members. It is also important to explore word learning in different contexts. Many minimally-verbal children with ASD are trained to communicate using pictures, and are often taught the names of 3-D objects via labelling their 2-D counterparts. However, recent evidence suggests that many of these children have an atypical understanding of how words, pictures, and objects inter-relate.

In the first part of this seminar I will introduce a new project that is currently investigating word learning in children with ASD. Across a series of experiments, we are examining the holistic word learning process by measuring word-referent pairing (by fast mapping and cross situational mapping), retention, and generalisation. In the second part I will discuss recent research focusing on how children with ASD map words to pictures, and extend to real objects.

Seminar Logistics

Where: Room 5.206 University Place (building 37 on the Campus Map) , University of Manchester

When: 11.00 - 12.30, Tuesday 4th April

More Information: Full details can be found on this event poster.

LuCiD Seminars

LuCiD holds monthly seminars on a variety of topics linked to our research. Seminars are open to anyone and alternate venues between the three collaborating North West universities. Find out more about upcoming seminars and past seminars.

Leave a Comment

* Indicates fields are required