Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Do We Speak the Same Language?

Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Do We Speak the Same Language?

Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Do We Speak the Same Language?

Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Do We Speak the Same Language?

Excerpt

It takes more work to communicate with someone whose native
language isn't the same as yours. And autism goes deeper than
language and culture; autistic people are 'foreigners' in any society.
You're going to have to give up your assumptions about shared
meanings. You're going to have to learn to back up to levels more
basic than you've probably thought about before, to translate, and
to check to make sure your translations are understood. You're
going to have to give up the certainty that comes of being on your
own familiar territory, of knowing you're in charge, and let your
child teach you a little of her language, guide you a little way into
his world. (Sinclair 1993, p.2)

There is a general agreement on the diagnosis of the syndrome of autism according to the behavioural symptoms people with autism exhibit. The present diagnostic classifications – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV: APA 1994) of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10: WHO 1992) of the World Health Organization (WHO) – contain the behavioural descriptions of autistic disorders which are based on the Triad of Impairments formulated by Lorna Wing (1992).

Difficulties with language and communication are one of the defining features of autism. Although language and communication impairments have been recognized as essential characteristics of autism (in fact, they are present in all autistic individuals no matter whether the person is verbal or non-verbal), the nature of the language and communication deficits and their role in manifestation of the syndrome remains controversial.

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