Autism Spectrum Disorders and Language Delay

Children suffering from autism generally suffer from communication problems. Autism Spectrum Disorder, or simply ASD or autism, is a developmental disability that causes significant communication, social, and behavioral challenges. It is considered as a spectrum disorder because it encompasses a wide range of symptoms and levels of impairment.  

 Autism Spectrum

Autism can go anywhere from mild to severe and most individuals who suffer from autism have problems with social interaction and communication. This condition can affect people of different races, ethnic groups, and backgrounds, although it is more rampant in boys than in girls.  

How ASD affects Language  

Children with autism are often self-absorbed. They seem to exist in their own private world with limited need or ability to communicate or interact with other people. This is why they have difficulty in developing their language skills, much more in understanding what other people are trying to say to them. Some of the communication problems seen in children with autism are as follows: 

  1. Repetitive Language

Children with autism can speak works with no meaning or utter phrases that do not relate to the present conversation at all. They may also continuously repeat words they have heard, especially the ones that have been just said. Some children also tend to answer a question by asking the same question. 

  1. Uneven Language Development 

A child with autism may have unusually uneven speech and language skills. Some may develop a strong vocabulary in certain areas while others have good memories or information about things that they have just heard. On the other hand, they may develop problems in other areas, like being unable to comprehend what they have just read. They also may not respond well to the speech of others, even if they are calling their own names.  

  1. Poor Non-verbal Communication

Communication may be carried out verbally and non-verbally and children with autism have difficulties in both. They are generally unable to use gestures to give more meaning to their speech. They also avoid eye contact, which makes other people think that they are rude, inattentive, or uninterested. This is also a cause of frustration for them, which is why they resort to inappropriate behaviors and vocal outbursts.  

Language Problems Treated  

The treatment of the communication problems suffered by children with autism is usually carried out by a professional. Doctors who are treating these children should refer them to a speech-language pathologist to help them improve their language. Speech language pathologists are health professionals who are trained to treat individuals with language, speech, and voice problems. 

A full evaluation will be conducted to determine the child’s language inabilities and design the necessary treatment program for them. It is essential for children with autism to improve their communication skills in order to encourage them to reach their full potential. Many children who are suffering from this condition have responded well to highly structured and specialized programs, which is why it is imperative for them. Parents are also encouraged to be involved in the said programs to speed up the results.