posted on 2022-02-23, 04:58authored byLaura J. Hahn, Nancy C. Brady, Kandace K. Fleming, Steven F. Warren
Purpose: In this study, we examine joint engagement (JE)
in young children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) and its
relationship to language abilities and autism spectrum
disorder symptomatology at 24 to 36 months (toddler period)
and 59 to 68 months (child period).
Method: Participants were 28 children with FXS (24 boys,
four girls) and their mothers. Videotaped home observations
were conducted during the toddler period and coded for JE.
Language abilities were measured at both ages from a
developmental assessment, a functional measure, and from
a language sample. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale
(Schopler, Reichler, & Renner, 1988) was completed at both
Results: Children with FXS spent more time in supported JE
than in coordinated JE. Using a weighted JE variable, we
found that children with FXS who had higher weighted JE
scores also had more advanced expressive language skills
at both the toddler and child periods. Weighted JE was
negatively related to autism symptomatology in the toddler
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that children with
FXS who use more JE also have more advanced expressive
language skills in early development. Therefore, existing
early interventions that target JE behaviors may be effective
for promoting language, social communication, and social
interaction in this population.
This research was supported by National Institute on Child Health and Human Development Grants T32 HD057844 (awarded to Kathryn J. Saunders), P30 HD02528 (awarded to John A. Colombo), and P30 HD003110 (awarded to Steven F. Warren).