Podcast: Speak Now
Those who are minimally verbal or non speaking represent about 25% of those with an autism diagnosis, yet there is really a lack of effective interventions for this group of autistic individuals. It used to be that everyone who was non-speaking was thought to have minimal ability to understand language, since understanding and speaking are so linked in development. However, group at Boston University studied the largest group of non-speaking autistic individuals so far and discovered that about 25% of them understand more language than they can speak, although this ability is still far lower than those who are neurotypical. The other 75% understand about as much as they can communicate verbally. This indicates that in some cases, the ability to understand words and their meaning exceeds the ability to communicate those ideas verbally. Surprise surprise, just like everything autism – there are differences across the spectrum. Thanks to Yanru Chen at Boston University for explaining the study to us in this week’s podcast episode.