Auditory processing measures have been used in an attempt to understand the relationship between neurological mechanisms and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptomatology in school-age children. The focus of the current study was to understand neural auditory processing in 2- to 3-year-olds with ASD.
Auditory processing measures (click auditory brainstem responses and speech-evoked frequency-following responses) were hypothesized to differ between typically developing children (n = 18) and children with ASD (n = 18). Auditory processing measures were hypothesized to relate to language development in children with ASD.
The current study found limited differences in auditory processing measures between the two groups. No relationships were found between auditory processing measures and language development measures.
Future research is necessary to characterize auditory processing in toddlers with ASD. Longitudinal approaches should be considered when studying auditory processing in children with ASD in order to explore its developmental relationship with ASD symptomatology.