Communication and Autism
Each child with a diagnosis of autism will have varying abilities with language and communication. If you know more than one autistic child, you will know that their communication and language abilities will be very different.
It is important to understand the difference between expressive and receptive communication skills, because all autistic children will have some degree of challenge or delay in one or both of these areas:
Expressive communication: using language and verbal or non-verbal communication to convey a message.
Receptive language: understanding words, language and communication as a receiver of a communicative message.
Furthermore, research suggests that autistic children may also have challenges related to:
Joint attention: the ability to co-ordinate attention between people and objects
Symbol use: learning and understanding conventional or shared meanings for symbols (a symbol being anything that conveys a meaning, for example; a sound, a gesture or a word)
It is important to actively be aware and think about these four areas when communicating with a child. Questions you could ask yourself when communicating/ teaching are:
Taking these areas into consideration, your use of language is very important: Be clear in your use of language