Autism is a variation in neurological development classified as a type of developmental disability that occurs in around one percent of individuals worldwide. There are various indicators an individual may be on the autism spectrum. Everyone with autism is unique, and there is no one specific way the condition presents. It's crucial to understand the ways different symptoms can present, as stereotypical portrayals of autism have caused many individuals to be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed until adulthood. Though autism impacts every aspect of an affected individual's day-to-day life, many autistic individuals say their neurodivergence allows them to have a more creative and unique perspective on the world. Many individuals with autism go on to lead successful, happy, productive, and fulfilling lives.
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Issues With Language Development
Children with autism or others on the spectrum typically don't develop language with the same markers neurotypical children do. There are certain milestones neurotypical children tend to meet at certain ages. If a child doesn't meet these milestones, they may be autistic. Children usually begin babbling and cooing by twelve months old, and they begin saying singular words by sixteen months. By two years old, most children can say two-word phrases. Children who don't meet these milestones may be autistic, or they may have other developmental issues that make learning language difficult. About twenty-five percent of children with autism are nonverbal, which means they don't speak at all. Some nonverbal children can communicate in other ways like pointing or sign language.
There haven't been many studies regarding how autism influences the development of language over time, though researchers have observed some children with autism use vocabulary far more advanced than their peers, which indicates a high level of intelligence and information retention. In the past, autism that presented without significant language impairment was diagnosed as Asperger's syndrome, but nowadays everything is covered under the same spectrum.
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