Talking is harder for children with autism. Some children with autism may start talking at 12-16 months. Most don't start talking until later. Some will start talking between the ages of 2-3 years.
Researchers published the hopeful findings that, even after age 4, many nonverbal children with autism eventually develop language.
Some children with ASD develop language after age 5. “There is a burst of kids in the 6 to 7 age range who do get language,” says Wodka, who currently leads recruitment and research efforts for the SPARK study at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.
Some may develop language and communication skills at later ages than their peers, and some may develop their language in a different order. Some autistic children will develop spoken language in a typical way, but they may need support in other areas of communication, such as social communication or fluency.
Because autism spectrum disorder varies in severity with each child, there is no hard and fast rule. It is not uncommon for children with ASD to begin developing speech in the same manner as typical children, as well as to regress in speech and language comprehension around two years old.
Particular changes or challenges in a 3-year-old can sometimes indicate autism. Possible signs of autism include always playing alone, not speaking, and unusual body movements, among others.
Speech and social symptoms
Children on the severe autism spectrum usually face significant challenges with communication and social skills. They are also the most likely to remain non-verbal or unable to communicate effectively and may therefore require augmentative and alternative means of communication.
Autistic speech delays usually occur along with other communication issues, such as not using gestures, not responding to their name, and not showing interest in connecting with people. Other possible causes of speech delays include hearing loss and developmental delays.
Type 2 autism, or level 2 autism, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how an individual communicates and behaves. They are compromised in social communication, exhibiting atypical social behaviors, and may even walk away in the middle of an interaction.
Children with levels 1 and 2 autism may notice faster results from therapy than those with level 3 autism. Moreover, the odds of autism symptoms improving over time are higher when children are at the level 1 or 2 stages. However, it is also possible for children with level 3 autism to improve over time.
Decades ago, many, if not most, people diagnosed with autism had little or no spoken language. At the turn of the 21st century, experts noted that up to one half of children and adults who have autism “do not use speech functionally.”4 But the percentage of verbal people with autism has grown, for several reasons.
Nonverbal autism is a subset of autism where the person does not learn how to speak. It is estimated that 25% to 50% of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) never develop spoken language beyond a few words or utterances.
Early medical challenges may slow development, but most children are able to catch up to their same-age peers.
The study brings hope to those parents who worry that children who are not talking by age 4 or 5 are unlikely to develop speech at all. Some children with ASD develop meaningful language after age 5. "There is a burst of kids in the 6- to 7- age range who do get language," Dr. Wodka said.
One of the most consistently documented behaviors in infancy that distinguishes children later diagnosed with autism from those with typical development, or developmental delays, is a decreased tendency to respond to name.
ASD level 3 is characterized by severe challenges in social communication as well as extremely inflexible behavior. Children with level 3 autism will be nonverbal or have the use of only a few words of intelligible speech. Initiation of social interaction is very limited, as well as response to others.
Level 1 ASD is the mildest form of autism. Children with level 1 ASD have a hard time communicating appropriately with others. For example, they may not say the right thing at the right time or be able to read social cues and body language.
Level 1 autism: traits and behaviors
Inflexibility with ideas and actions. Difficulty switching between activities. Executive functioning limitations. Difficulty building and maintaining social relationships.
On average, an autistic NDIS participant receives $32,800 in annualised NDIS funding which has remained broadly consistent during the NDIS trial and transition period. Further, autistic children aged under seven receive on average $16,700 per year under the NDIS.
The researchers found that, in fact, most of these children did go on to acquire language skills. Nearly half (47 percent) became fluent speakers. Over two-thirds (70 percent) could speak in simple phrases.
Problems with a child's tongue or the roof of their mouth, which makes it hard to form sounds and words. Hearing loss. Kids who've had a lot of ear infections can have hearing problems. A learning disability.
There can be several reasons why your 4-year-old child is not talking. Some possible reasons can be hearing loss, neurological disorders, intellectual disability, lack of stimulation, cognitive delay, and speech and language development.
The development of the autistic brain is a complex process that can vary from person to person. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, research suggests that the autistic brain may continue to develop and change throughout adolescence and into early adulthood.
Common behavioral challenges include aggression, running or wandering away, and self-injury. People with severe autism experience profound challenges and requires very substantial support. 2 They are often unable to live independently and require 24-hour-a-day care.
Just like neurotypical individuals, the future of people with ASD depends on their strengths, passions and skillsets. It is important to understand that a diagnosis of ASD does not mean that your child cannot make friends, date, go to college, get married, become a parent, and/or have a satisfying lucrative career.