Autism affects communication in several ways, each of which often develops differently. Language delays are common when autism affects communication, but it can be challenging to track when they start and how much is caused by the effects of autism. That’s why it’s crucial to reach out to a Fort Worth, TX, autism treatment center today for assistance from a caring team of professionals and to learn more about how autism affects communication and language.
Language Delays in Autism
Delayed language development typically occurs when a child has features associated with autistic disorder or pervasive developmental delay-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). It is estimated that approximately 30% of children affected with ASD have clinically significant language problems. However, for many children, this may not arise until later childhood or adolescence, especially in cases where parents report no concern during early childhood and then suddenly their child’s speech takes a nosedive.
How Autism Affects Communication and Language
In cases where parents do not report any problems with their child’s speech before age three, it is unlikely that they will develop in the future.
The effects of autism on language and communication can include:
- An inability to start a conversation
- Difficulty sustaining a conversation
- Problems understanding others when talking
- Issues when making friends
Most children diagnosed with autism disorder or PPD-NOS show delayed language development. This delay usually consists of insufficient development in expressive language, which is the ability to say words, and receptive language, which is understanding what someone else is saying. On average, there is at least a twenty-five-word deficit between the spoken vocabulary of children with ASD and same-aged peers who do not have autism effects communication. Diagnosticians should look for the absence of babbling by twelve months, few words or lack of increase in words by sixteen months, and loss of any language or social skills at any age.
Among children with ASD, many also show:
- Significant problems understanding what others say
- Significant difficulties in concentrating on somebody who is talking to them
- Impaired ability to learn from others
It can be more challenging to identify the effects of autism on communication when there are no issues with early development, such as lack of babbling or loss of prior speech. However, these effects may still manifest later, such as delayed language development during childhood or adolescence even when parents never reported any concerns during early childhood. For this reason, the effects of autism on communication may be difficult to pinpoint in older children or teens with ADHD or other developmental disorders that can cause speech and language issues. Often speech therapy for children with autism is the best course of action for their development.
Effects of Autism on Basic Social Interactions
There are many effects of autism spectrum disorder on basic social interactions, including:
- Rejection by other children because of odd behavior
- Few friends
- Isolation due to lack of interest in playing with others
- Little understanding of how to make friends
- Delayed self-help skills such as dressing themselves without assistance
- Difficulties with problem-solving related to daily challenges
Effects of Autism on Communication Skills
The effects of autism on communication skills include:
- Lacking or limited language skills, including delayed language development
- Inability to ask questions and request information, sometimes referred to as echolalia or “parroting”
- Problems understanding others’ perspectives
- Excessive talking and high voice volume that can be misperceived as a sign of aggression or a lack of self-control
- Lack of understanding the effects of their own behavior on others
- Difficulty interpreting another person’s nonverbal signals
- Difficulty recognizing when someone else is bored, sad, or angry
Children with autism’s communication may also have difficulty building friendships due to poor social skills or interactions that are too intense for typically developing peers. This may include disinterest in playing with other children, preferring instead to play alone. Alternatively, children with autism may require an approach toward playmates that is overly intense and inappropriate for most kids’ social needs. For example, many children with autism expect their friends to read their minds about what game they want to play or what toy they want to share.
Learn More About How Autism Affects Communication and Language Today
For more information about how non-verbal autism in children affects communication and language, reach out to a Fort Worth autism treatment center today by calling or completing our online form