People on the spectrum invariably have communication difficulties in one form or another. There are some people on the spectrum who speak fluently, others who are speech impaired to varying degrees, and others still who are unable to speak at all. Of those who can speak, they will often use language in a limited or unusual way.

Their line of conversation may involve repeating your phrases or words back to you or asking the same questions over and over (known as ‘echolalia’). People on the spectrum will usually only talk about topics that are of interest to them which makes the give and take in communication difficult. They have difficulty interpreting non-verbal forms of communication like facial expressions, hand gestures and other body language.

Impaired communication is characterised by:

  • Delayed language development.
  • Difficulties initiating and sustaining conversations.
  • Stereotyped and repetitive use of language such as repeating phrases from television.

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