New hope for autistic children who never learn to speak

05/2013

A recent report from Autistica estimates that nearly a quarter (24%) of children with autism are non-verbal or minimally verbal — problems that can persist into adulthood.

A review of over 200 published papers and more than 60 different intervention studies has now concluded that:

  • Motor behaviors play a key role in language learning.
  • Children with autism show specific motor impairments, and less "mirroring" brain activity.
  • There is very little evidence that sign language training helps.
  • Picture exchange training can help.
  • Play-based approaches which employ explicit teaching strategies and are developmentally based are particularly successful.
  • New studies involving a focus on motor skills show promising preliminary results.

The paper can be freely downloaded at http://www.frontiersin.org/Integrative_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnint.2013.00030/abstract

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/f-nhf042213.php

[3418] McCleery, J. P., Elliott N. A., Sampanis D. S., & Stefanidou C. A.
(2013).  Motor development and motor resonance difficulties in autism: relevance to early intervention for language and communication skills.
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 7,