How Autism Can Effect Communication Skills
When it comes to autism, the best thing a parent can do is to learn to think "outside the box." But first, they need to understand the process. Here is one example of how autism can effect communication skills and why.
We all know that the brain is constantly processing information. It tells our body to perform survival tasks such as breathing. It responds to outside stimulus. When you speak to a person, the sound is captured by the ear drums and routed along various channels in the brain that potentially acknowledge there was a sound and process what the sound means. The brain is decoding information. However, in autistic children, there is a miscommunication or a dead end of communication.
Imagine that you are trying to get to a certain web page on your computer, but your browser is having processing errors. When you type in the page, you receive some type of error message. This is similar to what happens to children with autism. They may discard the information (sounds) or it may even irritate them because they don't understand it, comparable to your browser freezing up. So what do you do with your computer when this happens? If you can't fix the browser then you use a different one. If Internet Explorer isn't working, maybe you switch to Firefox. Now you can communicate online again.
In the autistic child, "switching browsers" isn't quite so simple as pushing a button on the mouse, but requires similar thinking. If your child isn't understanding what you are communicating in a verbal manner, then try a new one. Visual aids work great. These often start with pictures and work their way to letters and words. As you say the words that you are writing or the picture you are showing, the brain begins to correlate those words with the images being processed. There are many devices to assist in the progress of this correlation.