Autism and Language Development

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  • Communication impairments have been recognized as one of the core features of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) along with social deficits and restricted and repetitive behaviors. Approximately 20 percent of the ASD population does not acquire any functional expressive language. Communication deficits in ASD include a variety of impairments such as use of stereotyped speech or delayed echolalia (e.g., repeating lines from a favorite cartoon) and difficulties initiating and maintaining meaningful back-and-forth conversation (e.g., being preoccupied with certain topics and dominating conversations without responding to others' questions or leads). This entry presents a review of the past literature examining the course of language development and early childhood characteristics associated with language outcome as well as different areas of language impairments in individuals with ASD, including ...

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