This grant provides support for an NIH Autism Center of Excellence (ACE). Despite earlier diagnosis and increased awareness of the importance of early intervention, language and communication outcomes remain highly variable in ASD, with some longitudinal samples showing as many as 50% of children diagnosed with autism at age 2 still non-verbal, or lacking phrase speech by age 9. Despite the importance of such an unmet treatment need, few studies have empirically tested the possible additive effects of combined interventions, especially combined psychosocial and medical interventions. This project tests the benefits of the addition of the dopamine-stabilizing drug, aripiprazole (ARI), versus placebo, on short-term social communication and language outcomes in 6-11 year old children with ASD lacking phrase speech receiving an intensive, developmentally informed language intervention. If the proof-of-concept trial suggests that ARI facilitates language acquisition in ASD, such a result could have clinical implications once replicated in a larger controlled study.