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Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome Do we speak the same language?

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Book - Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome Do we speak the same language?

by: Olga Bogdashina

About the author:

Olga Bogdashina, MA, PhD, is Co-founder and Programme Leader and Lecturer at the International Autism Institute, KSPU. She has worked extensively in the field of autism as a teacher, lecturer and researcher. Since 1994, she has been Director of the first day centre for children with autism in Ukraine and President of the Autism Society of Ukraine. She is a visiting lecturer at universities in Europe, presents at national and international autism conferences and is an Autism Consultant for services for children and adults. She lives in West Yorkshire, UK.

ISBN: 978-1-84310-267-0

Year: 2004

Publication Info: 288pp


Providing a theoretical foundation for understanding communication and language impairments specific to autism, Olga Bogdashina explores the effects of different perceptual and cognitive styles on the communication and language development of autistic children. She stresses the importance of identifying each autistic individual’s nonverbal language – which can be visual, tactile, kinaesthetic, auditory, olfactory or gustatory – with a view to establish a shared means of verbal communication. She offers an explanation of why certain approaches, for example PECS, might work with some autistic children but not others. Offering real insights, the “What They Say” sections enable the reader to see through the eyes of autistic individuals and to understand their language differences first hand.

“What We Can Do to Help” sections throughout the book give practical recommendations on what to do in order to help autistic individuals use their natural mechanisms to learn and develop social and communicative skills. The final chapters are devoted to assessment and intervention issues with practical recommendations for selecting appropriate methods and techniques to enhance communication, based on the specific mode of communication a person uses.



Introduction. Part 1: Definitions, theories and hypotheses. 1. Communication. Language. Speech. 2. Language acquisition: The theories. 3. From sensations to concepts: Via different routes. 4. Cognitive styles and functions in autism. 5. Autistic culture? 6. What language are they speaking? Part 2: Language characteristics, learning styles and development in autism. 7. Language learning styles. 8. Speech and language development in non-autistic and autistic children. 9. Impairments of social communication and language peculiarities specific to autism. 10. Fluent speakers. So what’s the problem? Part 3: Key strategies to enhance communication in autism. 11. Communication/language assessment strategies. Communication profile. 12. Communication environment and interaction styles. 13. Selecting communication systems. 14. Teaching communication. Conclusion. Glossary. References. Subject index. Author index.



Bogdashina challenges our understanding of autism and what the artistic community needs from us. Rather than insisting that they meet us on our terms, she asserts that we should be ready to respect and meet theirs. No longer relying soley on our interpretations of their needs, this notion is reinforced by their own requests. This is certainly the strength of Bogdashina’s book. Clearly written in approachable language, Bogdashina’s book is certainly suitable for parents, educators and students, while still being penetrating enough for an academic audience as well.


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