Language in autism: domains, profles and co‑occurring conditions

Schaeferת J.

This article reviews the current knowledge state on pragmatic and structural language abilities in autism and their potential relation to extralinguistic abilities and autistic traits. The focus is on questions regarding autism language profles with varying degrees of (selective) impairment and with respect to potential comorbidity of autism and language impairment: Is language impairment in autism the co-occurrence of two distinct conditions (comorbidity), a consequence of autism itself (no comorbidity), or one possible combination from a series of neurodevelopmental properties (dimensional approach)? As for language profles in autism, three main groups are identifed, namely, (i) verbal autistic individuals without structural language impairment, (ii) verbal autistic individuals with structural language impairment, and (iii) minimally verbal autistic individuals. However, this tripartite distinction hides enormous linguistic heterogeneity. Regarding the nature of language impairment in autism, there is currently no model of how language difculties may interact with autism characteristics and with various extralinguistic cognitive abilities. Building such a model requires carefully designed explorations that address specifc aspects of language and extralinguistic cognition. This should lead to a fundamental increase in our understanding of language impairment in autism, thereby paving the way for a substantial contribution to the question of how to best characterize neurodevelopmental disorders.

Schaeffer, J.‪, Abd El-Raziq, M.‪, Castroviejo, E.‪, Durrleman, S.‪, Ferré, S.‪, Grama, I.‪, Hendriks, P.‪, Kissine, M.‪, Manenti, M.‪, Marinis, T.‪, Meir, N.‪, Novogrodsky, R.‪, Perovic, A.‪, Panzeri, F.‪, Silleresi, S.‪, Sukenik, N.‪, Vicente, A.‪, Zebib, R.‪, Prévost, P.‪, & Tuller, L.‪ (2023)‪.‪ Language in autism: domains, profiles and co-occurring conditions.‪ Journal of Neural Transmission: Translational Neuroscience, Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies, Psychiatry and Preclinical Psychiatric Studies130(3)‪, 433–457.‪ https://doi.‪org/10.‪1007/s00702-023-02592-y

Last Updated Date : 05/07/2023