Sounds can help develop speech and gestures in children with autism
Children with autism and other similar conditions often have difficulties in several areas of communication. A new doctoral thesis in linguistics from the University of Gothenburg shows that these children can develop speech, gestures and a sense of rhythm and melody by listening to various speech sounds.
It is well-known that children with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, atypical autism and childhood disintegrative disorder (collectively referred to as autism spectrum condition, ASC) often have problems with gestures and the rhythm and melody of speech, yet studies in these areas remain scarce.
One reason for studying the sound structure of speech is that the development in this domain takes place during early childhood when we learn to distinguish between the different speech sounds and syllables in the speech stream. This is often problematic in children with ASC, since they may find it difficult to sort sensory impressions, to listen and see and experience their bodies simultaneously. In addition, some sensory impressions can be perceived to be particularly strong.