Increasing Expressive Skills for Verbal Children with Autism


Communication is a range of purposeful behavior which is used with intent within the structure of social exchanges to transmit information, observations, or internal states, or to bring about changes in the immediate environment. Verbal as well as nonverbal behaviors are included, as long as some intent, evidenced by anticipation of outcome, can be inferred. Therefore, not all vocalization or even speech can qualify as intentional communicative behavior.
This definition emphasizes that communication takes place within a social context. Speech/verbalization becomes communication when there is a desire or intent to convey a message to someone else. Therefore these two areas, communication and social skills, are tightly interwoven and interdependent. Unfortunately for children with autism, these are also two primary areas of difficulty. Therefore children with autism, even those who are considered "verbal", usually experience significant communication difficulties.
Therefore, the two-fold purpose of this issue of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Series is to provide:

I.  Key questions to consider in order to determine the child's current communication abilities
II.  The development of a communication intervention program for the child with autism that is based on his communication needs.

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