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Social Communication and Autism

Personal Accounts

Temple Grandin

'I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk. I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out, so I would just scream.'

Jim Sinclair

'Understanding speech requires knowing how to process sounds, which first requires recognising sounds as things that can be processed and recognising order from chaos. ... No one guessed how much I understood, because I couldn't say what I knew. And no one guessed the critical thing I didn't know, the one missing connection that so much else depended on: I didn't communicate by talking, not because I was incapable of learning how to use language, but because I didn't know that that was what talking was for. Learning how to talk follows from knowing why to talk and until I learned that words have meanings, there was no reason to go to the bother of learning to pronounce them as sounds. I had no idea that this could be a way to exchange meaning with other minds.'

Updated
01 Nov 2017