Signs and Symptoms: Communication
Individuals with ASD can have difficulty developing language skills and communicating with others.
Each person on the autism spectrum has different communication skills. Some can speak well, while others (about 40%) are non-verbal. Some children may use language in unusual ways, may not use full sentences, or repeat words and phrases over and over again.
Those who are only mildly affected may only present slight delays in language. Some even develop quite extensive vocabularies. However, they can have difficulty sustaining conversation or engaging in “give-and-take” exchange. Some have a tendency to carry on long monologues and do not let others have a chance to give input.
Children and adults with autism can have difficulty understanding physical gestures and body language as well. In addition, their gestures, facial expressions, and movements may not match what they are saying (i.e. smiling while they are actually sad). They may also have trouble understanding tone of voice and sarcasm. Those with autism tend to take language quite literally.