How Autism Affects Communication in Children

When does communication begin?

Communication begins much before a child learns to talk. Babies, in the first months of their life, show interest to communicate by listening carefully to the sound of human voice, looking at people when they talk, and then engage in erratic babbling games with parents. Kids learn by seeing how elders communicate. The exchange of smiles and sounds between the children and their caregivers are the first conversations they notice. Even though a child may not utter a word, he/she can pick up what’s being said from the syllables.

Infants begin imitating the action and single words of parents. They then start using the first words on their own. Once they know a few single words, children start to string them together for making two-word sentences.

How autism affects communication?

Communication development happens more slowly and differently for children suffering from autism spectrum disorder. Sensory challenges connected to the disorder often make autistic children seem more interested in the environmental sounds. These include whirring of the ceiling fan or vacuum cleaner. They find these sounds more recognizable than that of people talking. In fact, autistic children often seem not to hear what people say.

While none exactly knows the reason, children with autism don’t naturally imitate parents like other children. And that’s why they require the best communication apps for children. They either don’t imitate all or imitate whole sentences (known as echoes) without understanding the meaning of the words. The first words are often delayed among children not using echoes. The words are sometimes unusual (like the letters of an alphabet), and are mostly delayed.

Mild or high functioning autism and communication

Children with Asperger’s syndrome often use long sentence to communicate. They may have an extensive vocabulary. But regarding social communication, much more is needed than words. Facial expressions, body language, eye gaze, tone of the voice, and other nonverbal cues, often tells us more about what common people feel and think about the words they use. Children, to become successful communicators, must know how to respond to these cues. Else, they need one of the best communication apps for children.

Most children start to pay attention to nonverbal cues during infancy, when they search the faces of their parents for acknowledgement, support, and indications about what’s going on in their minds. For instance, if they see their mother looking at a toy, they understand that she’s going to offer it to them. But a child having mild autism, Asperger’s syndrome, or social communication difficulties, may find it difficult to “tune in” to the thoughts of others. They also don’t develop the same way like other children.

Difficulty to empathize and see another person’s point of view, can make a bilateral conversation highly challenging for autistic children. They are often at a loss about what to say and how to react in a social situation. It’s usually difficult for them to make friends with neuro-typicals. Thankfully the best commutation apps for children can be of great help in developing the basic skills among autistic children.


Source by Kevin Carter

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Mum/The Boss/Editor at Autism Club
Georgie B aka Autism Club Mum is designer,listener and most importantly mummy to 2 beautiful cheeky teen boys with Autism. I want to help make life a little more easier for all of us, whether it be in sharing information, passing on what I have learned including mistakes made, laughing about everything else or just free goodies - we all love them right? God knows its not going to be an easy road ahead so don't do it alone, join us!