This study examined the longitudinal associations between parent verbal responsiveness and language 3 years later in 34 toddlers with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. Parent–child play samples were coded for child engagement and communication acts and for parent verbal responsiveness. Measures of responsive verbal behaviors were used to predict language gain scores 3 years later. Parent directives for language that followed into the child’s focus of attention were predictive of child receptive language gains. Parent comments that followed into the child’s focus of attention yielded differential effects depending on initial levels of child language. Children who were minimally verbal at age 2½ benefited from parent comments that followed into the their focus of attention, whereas children who were verbally fluent did not demonstrate such a benefit.