Case Study of Autism

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In the twenty-first century, advances have been made in defining and understanding the communication and linguistic issues that children with autism display. However, establishing pre-verbal communication skills remains a substantial difficulty for most educators working with autistic children. This has been a serious issue given that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have considerable communication impairments (Paul, 2008). Many educators strive to help children with ASD acquire pre-verbal communication abilities as one approach to aid them. Pre-language is usually essential before a youngster can speak his or her first words. Pre-verbal communication skills involve gestures, eye gaze, and vocalizations (Vocal Saints, 2016). However, it is important for children to develop other skills including listening, attention to task, imitating and copying and even facial expression (Vocal Saints, 2016). Helping a child either with ASD or normal to develop pre-verbal skills can impact his/her language development significantly. As Cates et al (2013) provides, communication aspects such as emotion expression, eye gazing and attention getting, when they emerge early in an infant’s life, may be critical in shaping language development trajectories. Child gazing, for instance, is very important since it can lead to word learning, and as Cates et al (2013), such pre-verbal skills have been associated with receptive and expressive language skills. As such, these skills are critical for children with autism.

Comparison and Contrast

From the case study, it is evident that Claudia and Carly have developed different communication, language and social development skills. Claudia, a four year girl suffering from ASD has difficulty when it comes to verbal communication skills. As a result, it is difficult to understand Claudia in almost all settings. Carly, on the other hand, even though, cannot verbally speak to his family and peers, is eager talk and communicate. In terms of communication skills, the two children are completely different. One of the major differences is in their pre-verbal on nonverbal communication skills. Claudia’s pre-verbal communication involves climbing, reaching and opening compartments. Carly’s communication skills, on the other hand, involve sentences with four or more words. Furthermore, Carly prefer to express her emotions verbally instead of physically. Thus, while Claudia has difficulty with verbal communication, Carly has managed to develop verbal communication skills very well.

A major concern, however, is that Claudia has difficult expressing her emotions both verbally and physically. This is a typical problem that is associated with children suffering from ASD. The difficulty to expresses emotions, according to Soraya (2008), has arguably caused many people to consider children suffering with ASD as not feeling emotions. However, children with autism feel emotions, but do not know how to express them (Soraya, 2008). Because of that, many children suffering with ASD try to avoid interactions with others. In the case study, Claudia has a slow development both nonverbal and verbal communication skills that will enable her to communicate her emotions to others. As Soraya (2008) provides, this can be due to her condition. On the other hand, Carly has managed to develop both verbal and nonverbal skills required to express emotions at a very fast rate.

Another important difference that is being highlighted is the rate at which both children communication and language skills are developing. According to The Hanen Centre (2016) website, children with ASD tend to develop their communication skills much slowly. Because of challenges presented by the disorder, for instance, sensory challenges, children with autism find various aspects of the environment such as sound to be more fascinating compared to the sound of people talking (The Hanen Centre). In most cases, children with autism are distracted by what is taking place in the environment and might even fail to hear people talking. This issue is well presented in the case study. While both children are literally at the same age, Claudia is yet to develop verbal communication skills. On the other hand, Carly at the age of 4 years is capable of constructing four word sentences. Critically, due to Autism, Claudia has not been able to develop verbal communication skills at the same rate as Carly. Also, while Carly is more interested in group plays and interactions with others, Claudia’s attention seems to be taken by various aspects in the environment.

It is also important to consider the interaction skills and how both children have managed to development at their current age. Interactions skills are not only important, but are an integral step towards development of communication skills. By avoiding interaction with others and preferring to do things on her own, it can be argued that Claudia’s is significantly behind in terms of social skills are concerned. Carly, on the other hand, enjoys interacting with her pears, clearly signifying the rate at which she is capable of developing interactive skills. Foden and Anderson (2011) consider the lack of spontaneous social ability as a characteristic of autism. In their perspective, children with autism suffer from social blindness, which means, children with autism suffer from the inability to process social cues, interpret intentions of other people and choose responses (Foden and Anderson, 2011). As a result, children suffering with ASD isolate themselves from others. This aspect is well depicted in the case study. Claudia engages in very little interaction with other children as well as members of her family. She prefers taking part in activities such as climbing things swinging, spinning and looking at books. Even though, she engages some interactions, she tries hard to avoid eye contact with other people. Carly exhibits very different social skills compared to Claudia. Like every other normal child, she engages in interactive activities. Carly is not scared to gaze into others eyes when interacting. This is arguably normal for most typical children.

There is very little similarity in terms of communication, language and social skills development between the two children. In fact, the case study does not present any case where the two children as similar in terms of their social, language and communication development skills. Carly’s skills development in all the departments is faster compared to that of Claudia. Claudia’s Autism is preventing her from developing both verbal and nonverbal skills at the same rate that Carly is developing these skills. These aspects provide evidence to the suggestion that Autism prevent its victims from developing communication, language and social skills at the normal rate.


The case study clearly highlight the most important aspects that both parents and educators need to understand about children language, social and communication skills development is concerned. It is clear that at the same age, a child with autism is likely to develop much slower compared to a typical child. In addition to, children with autism are likely to isolate themselves in order to avoid interactions with others. By understanding this concept, parents and educators can be able to handle children with autism.


Cates, C., Dreyer, B., Berkule, S., White, L., Arevalo, J., & Mendelsohn, A. (2012). Infant

Communication and Subsequent Language Development in Children from Low-Income Families. Journal Of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 1.

Communication Development in Children with Autism. (2016). Retrieved 25

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Foden, T. & Anderson, C. (2011). Social Skills Interventions: Getting to the Core of Autism |

Interactive Autism Network. Retrieved 25 February 2017, from

Paul, R. (2008). Interventions to Improve Communication in Autism. Child And Adolescent

Psychiatric Clinics Of North America, 17(4), 835-856.

Vocalsaints. Pre-Verbal Skills - How To Raise Great Talkers | Vocalsaints. (2017). Vocalsaints.

Retrieved 25 February 2017, from

Soraya, L. (2008). Asperger Emotions and Adult Relationships. Psychology Today. Retrieved 25

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April 26, 2023

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