, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 61-81

Autism by another name? Semantic and pragmatic impairments in children

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Abstract

The literature on children with language disorders that are characterized by semantic and pragmatic impairments is reviewed and the conclusion is drawn that some of these conditions may stem from the same fundamental cognitive and interpersonal difficulties that are found in early childhood autism. A summary is presented of recent relevant research and theory in the field of autism and suggestions are offered on how these ideas might be applied to children showing semantic and pragmatic difficulties.

This paper was written while the authors were both members of the scientific staff of the MRC Social Psychiatry Unit. Sincere thanks to Lorna Wing and Christine Vaughn for their comments on earlier drafts of the paper.