Abstract: Language Development in Autism

GERNSBACHER, M. A., MORSON, E. M., & GRACE, E. J. (2012). Language development in autism. In G. Hickok & S. Small (Eds.), Neurobiology of Language (pp. 879-886). New York: Elsevier.
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Abnormal language development used to define autism, but no longer does. Indeed, language
development no longer even figures into contemporary diagnostic criteria, although early delays
in language often lead to parents’ concerns. In this chapter, we review recent empirical research
on language development in autism. To paint a contemporary picture, we restrict our review to
studies published in the 21st century. We conclude that language development in autism is often
delayed, but not deviant; that a delay in language development is not unique to autism; and that
language development in autism is remarkably heterogeneous.