What are the typical Language Characteristics of children with Autism?
Language Characteristics of children with Autism, Language of a child is usually assessed under 5 components viz Semantics, Syntax/Morphology, Phonology, Pragmatics and Comprehension. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have deficits in all the components of language.
Semantics – MEANING OF WORDS
- Word retrieval difficulties. For e.g – The child may struggle to name body parts via flash cards or to name common home objects via pictures.
- Underlying meaning of words not used as a help to store in the memory. For e.g – A child with ASD may not learn the name of an object by understanding its meaning. Like the word ice cream may be only rote learnt but not understood as a cold sweet dessert.
- Inappropriate answers to questions
Syntax/Morphology – SENTENCE FORMATION
- Morphological difficulties seen. E.g – She putted the book on the table. Errors more with pronouns and verbs.
- Superficial construction of sentences ( underlying meaning is not kept in mind)
- Less complex sentences
- Word order is overused
- Pronoun Reversals and confusions ( Confusion with usage of I, me and you)
Phonology – PRONUNCIATION OF SPEECH SOUNDS
- Pronunciation errors might be noticed
- Phonology is the least affected component of language ASD
Pragmatics – APPROPRIATENESS OF SPEECH
- Problems in joint attention
- Short conversations as difficulties in initiating and maintaining conversations are common
- Limited range of communication functions
- Immediate and delayed echolalia present
- Use of few gestures
- Overuse of questions and frequent repetition.
- Asocial monologues
- Difficulty with understanding roles of a speaker and a listener
- Aversion of gaze, use of peripheral vision.
Comprehension- UNDERSTANDING OF SPEECH AND LANGUAGE
- Impaired comprehension
- Difficulties in understanding connected discourse/conversation
5 Language Characteristics of children with Autism
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