Our goal is to simplify the information gathering and evaluating process. Our approach is to provide multiple perspectives from leading authorities and varies websites on autism related topics. This will provide our readers the opportunity to gather multiple viewpoints from a single location and form the best-educated decisions for their family’s needs.
Disclaimer: The Autism Resource Foundation provides general information to the autism community. The information comes from a variety of sources, and the Autism Resource Foundation does not independently verify any of it, nor does it necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of the Autism Resource Foundation. Nothing on this website should be construed as medical advice. Always consult your doctor regarding the needs of your family.
Source: About Health
Question: Does Late Speech Predict a Bad Prognosis for a Child with Autism?
My child with autism still isn’t using words. Does that mean he’ll never improve?
How do we know whether a child with autism will do well or poorly over time? It seems that early use of spoken language is NOT a good predictor.
Spoken language is only one way for human beings to communicate, and it’s by no means the most basic — nor the most significant — when it comes to measuring intelligence or anticipating longterm outcomes, according to Dr.
James Coplan, a developmental pediatrician and author. In fact, as he explains, many children with autism may be extremely delayed in use of spoken language, for many reasons (physical problems among them).
Much more critical than spoken language, says Coplan, is communication. If your child takes your hand to guide you, he is communicating. If he uses gestures, he is communicating. If he can master picture cards, signs, or other methods of connecting with another human being, he is communicating.
Coplan explains, “You shouldn’t use language as the rock to stand on to estimate a child’s intelligence, because you’re likely to grossly underestimate his intelligence…. [The] ability to develop spoken language varies as a result of physical and/or language disorders; but a prognosis or a measure of IQ is not dependent upon spoken language.”
“They used to say ‘if they’re not talking by five it’s a bad sign,'” said Dr. Coplan. Today, though, we understand that communication, intelligence and verbal ability are not one and the same.