NASET News Alert

Infants with Autism Don't Engage with 'Baby Talk'

January 14, 2022

That sing-song speech parents use when talking to their babies is universal, and infants tend to prefer it. So, when a baby doesn't seem to engage with this melodic "motherese," or baby talk, it can be an early sign of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Researchers at the University of California, San Diego used numerous techniques to pinpoint brain areas responsible for a child's reaction to baby talk -- like doggie for dog or horsie for horse. "This new study, which combined state-of-the-art brain imaging, eye-tracking and clinical testing, opens the door toward precision medicine in autism," said senior author Eric Courchesne, a professor of neuroscience and co-director of the Autism Center of Excellence at UCSD. Read More