Autism and the Comprehension of Language

  • Catherine Lord
Part of the Current Issues in Autism book series (CIAM)


The comprehension of language is one of the most difficult constellations of skills for children and adults with autism to acquire and to use. Yet our knowledge of what we can do about these difficulties is at an extraordinarily rudimentary level. Part of the problem is that the meaning of the term comprehension has varied from highly specific and idiosyncratic descriptions (e.g., reaction time to negative, passive sentences read silently by psychology undergraduates) to characterizations that are too broad to be scientifically tractable (e.g., comprehension as the “full understanding of world events”). To have some idea what we can do to facilitate language comprehension in persons with autism, we need to first ask “What is the comprehension of language anyway?”


Autistic Child Word Order Language Comprehension Comprehension Strategy Receptive Vocabulary 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Lord
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Alberta, Glenrose HospitalAlbertaCanada

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