Words are not enough

Vocabulary Development and Asperger Syndrome

First words at 12 months

First words at 12 months

“Mama!” screamed the toddler from his crib. Usually children say their first words by 12 months,  as do some children on the autism spectrum; however, children with Asperger’s syndrome first word are often more complex than typically developing children.

For example, a child with Asperger’s syndrome may say “airplane” as their first word because airplanes are a special interest rather than the typical “mama” or “dada” given by most children. Often a difference cited between those on the autism spectrum and those diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome is that people with Asperger’s syndrome display normal rates of language development.

People diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome are usually seen as having normal language development, due to their extensive vocabulary. However, when working with this population, it is always notable that they do not use language in a typical manner.   Often a story told by someone with Asperger’s syndrome,  gives a series of details or focuses on their area of interest. Although they have the words to give a greeting, often people with Asperger syndrome don’t.  Why are these things important? Humans connect and gain information through greetings and story telling.  Limited ability to tell a story or greet family and friends is a crippling social deficit. These skills are part of the fabric of our social interactions. People with Asperger syndrome require direct instruction in how to use language in a flexible and natural setting.

From early childhood, those with Asperger Syndrome often have normal or even advanced word acquisition, making vocabulary a relative strength, but their deficit is in language usage.   In structured activities, one-word tasks and around their special interests people with Asperger syndrome often demonstrate solid language abilities; however when required to tell a story or simply greet a friend or relative their language skills often are inadequate.

Asperger Syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/


Similar posts
  • “Airplane” not “Mama:” Language Development in Children with Asperger Syn...Language development in children with Asperger Syndrome is often typical for verbal language but delayed in language use. “Compared with those affected by other forms of autism spectrum disorders those with Asperger syndrome (AS) do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development,” states the “Autism Speak’s” website.  Slow developing non-verbal language skills in children [...]
  • Learning Styles: Are they a Myth?We may be required to unlearn what we once thought was true about learning styles. Teachers must ditch ‘neuromyth’ of learning styles, say scientists Sunday 12 March 2017 20.01 EDTLast modified on Sunday 7 May 2017 12.28 EDT Teaching children according to their individual “learning style” does not achieve better results and should be ditched by schools in favour of [...]
  • STOP the conversation! No one is listeningWhere are the conversations? In politics, conversations where people have differing views are impossible. People scream at each other. No one is listening to the other side. Democrats are outraged at Republicans.  Republicans push agendas in spite of the public outcries. No one is listening! How do we have conversations that move us toward healing and [...]
  • Language is the Key to Academic SuccessWhen there’s inequity in learning, it’s usually baked into life, Harvard analysts say. Source: The Costs of Inequality: Education Is the Key to It All – US News Language is the key to academic success. A few students from backgrounds with limited resources do well often because they love reading and in that way acquire the [...]
  • College Communication Executive-Function CoachTransitioning to college from high school Some college students, at least initially, need additional support services to succeed. Not because they don’t have the academic skills, but because they aren’t able to manage their new independence in addition to academic demands.  A College Communication Executive-Function Coach (CCEFC) helps students learn to manage their lives by [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply


Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.