Do All Individuals With Autism Have Communication Problems, And How Many Major Communication Problems Must Be Present To Justify A Diagnosis Of Autism?

Dr. Hollander answers the question: 'Are Communication Issues Present In All?'

ByEric Hollander, M.D., Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
October 15, 2008, 11:22 AM

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: Do all individuals with autism have communication problems, and how many major communication problems must be present to justify a diagnosis of autism?

Answer: All patients with autistic disorder have significant impairment in communication or language abilities. So, this can be reflected in a significant delay in the development of language, difficulties using language to interact with the world, and certainly social communication. Now, there are related conditions, such as Asperger's syndrome, where there is a relative strength, for example, in verbal ability compared to other abilities.

However, in patients with autistic disorder itself, there's a marked impairment in language abilities.

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