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Why Teach Communication?

boy at a computer in a classroom

Impairments in the development of communication skills significantly impact every aspect of an individual's ability to learn and function; therefore, addressing communication is a crucial part of educating any student with ASD. We begin learning to communicate as very young infants and continue to build on our skills as we move through life. Every interaction we have helps us to refine our skills and to be more effective communicators. For those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning to communicate and to use language effectively can be a challenge. One of the first signs and often most pervasive features of ASD is related to difficulties with expressive and receptive communication. Impairments in the development of communication skills significantly impact every aspect of an individual's ability to learn and function; therefore, addressing communication is a crucial part of educating any student with ASD.


Impairment in Communication is a Characteristic of ASD


Communication skills range from being nonverbal, to using single
     	  words, to using phrases, to exhibiting typical speech and language
          (with deficits in pragmatics), to advanced language skills with
          deficits in pragmatics.

Communication is an Essential Life Skill


Learning to communicate and enhancing skills is considered to be a profound and indisputable individual right.

When we change our mindset and think of communication as a student's individual right, it becomes a reasonable and achievable focus, one which carries with it access to appropriate assessment and interventions for every student and moves a student to better outcomes and a higher quality of life.

Now that you have learned WHY communication MUST be taught, please proceed to the section on WHAT TO TEACH or HOW TO ADDRESS COMMUNICATION.


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