Communication & Language in Autism and Asperger Syndrome
Difficulties with language and communication are one of the defining features of autism.
We’ll investigate language peculiarities and development in autism from the perspective of different sensory perceptual processes and cognitive styles; then we can see that people with autism do communicate (though sometimes their attempts to transmit information are unnoticed by their non-autistic communicative partners); they do not lack communicative intent but rather often use unconventional means of communication.
The sensory perceptual experience of the world of autistic children differs from that of non-autistic individuals, and their original internal language (as a tool of formulating and expressing thoughts) is consisted of ‘sensory perceptual words’. This ‘language’ becomes central to their intellectual, emotional and social development. It is important to identify each autistic individual’s non-verbal language – which can be visual, tactile, kinaesthetic, etc. – in order to establish a shared means of verbal communication.
To communicate successfully we have to speak the same language. Teaching autistic children ‘our’ language is not good enough; we have to learn ‘their’ language(s) and communication systems as well.
First edition of Communication Issues in Autism & Asperger Syndrome