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The Strengths of Speech Delay: Getting a Grip on the Sensory-Motor Complexity of Autism
  • Steven Kapp
Steven Kapp
University of Portsmouth

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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This article analyzes the visual, auditory, vocal, and motor advantages among autistic people with speech onset delay (A-SOD) compared with autistic people without speech delay (A-NoSOD) and sometimes non-autistic people. Importantly, their intelligence and communication skills are often underestimated. In addition, this paper provides suggestions to leverage strengths and address weaknesses from a sensory-motor perspective. Visual strengths are applied to IQ testing, reading and writing, and interpreting facial expressions. Auditory applications range from pain to music to speech development. Implications include suggestions for both production and perception of speech. The recommendations address both language’s relationship to motor development and the role of general language learning. Paradoxically, strengths in auditory perception may contribute to speech delay but also help A-SOD catch up to A-NoSOD, and continue to help A-SOD develop. Understanding A-SOD’s strengths may help to recognize how they make developmental gains in speech and language, and build from their strengths.
24 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
27 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Jul 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major