Autistic people can also find difficulties with receptive language, where their ability to understand others may take longer or the style of communication doesn’t meet their needs. This can result in the autistic person’s understanding being over or underestimated.
For autistic people, it can be hugely frustrating not having the right opportunity, means and often a reason to communicate. Such frustrations can have a negative impact on the autistic person’s well-being and mental health.
Communication challenges can also result in the autistic person being overlooked for opportunities or not being heard.
There are lots of different forms of communication. The most well-known alternative form of communication is sign language. This is where a person communicates through hand gestures. Other forms of communication, or as speech therapists call it, augmentative and alternative communication, AAC for short, include communication apps or devices, such as an iPad or voice output device. Others include Picture Exchange Communication Systems known as PECS – where the speaker uses pictures to communicate their needs and feelings.
When considering communication and autism, it is vital to be patient and consider how you can make it easier for the other person to be heard.
Visual tools, such as choice boards, now and next boards, symbols and communication books are also helpful for communication.