Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 September 2020
Parents play an essential role in supporting child development by providing a safe home, proper nutrition, and rich educational opportunities. In this article we focus on the role of caregiver speech in supporting development of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We review studies from typically developing children and children with autism showing that rich and responsive caregiver speech supports language development. Autism intervention studies that target caregiver speech are reviewed as are recent scientific advances from studies of typical development. The strengths and weakness of different techniques for collecting language data from caregivers and children are reviewed, and natural language samples are recommended as best practice for language research in autism. We conclude that caregivers play a powerful role in shaping their children's development and encourage researchers to adapt parent-mediated intervention studies to acknowledge individual differences in parents by using a personalized medicine approach.