Social communication on the spectrum

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Spectrum Stories: Autism, in a manner of speaking

In this episode of “Spectrum Stories,” host Jacob Brogan explains how speech — from its rhythm to its emotional content — can differ in people with autism, making social communication difficult.

By Jacob Brogan
19 April 2018 | 1 min read
silhouette of head with illustrated text
Spectrum Microphone

Social communication in autism, explained

Communication problems have always been considered a core feature of autism. Yet there are substantial and wide-ranging differences in how people with autism communicate.

By Lydia Denworth
19 April 2018 | 5 min read
animation: a child sits between two parents who are talking to each other. The child looks confused or worried.

Where communication breaks down for people with autism

People on the spectrum often have subtle problems using language or making facial expressions. Pinpointing where those difficulties originate may help ease their social communication.

By Lydia Denworth
18 April 2018 | 17 min read

Why no one needs a diagnosis of ‘social communication disorder’

A diagnosis of social communication disorder only keeps people from a community and resources they desperately want and need.

By Helen Tager-Flusberg
17 April 2018 | 4 min read
black and white picture of a woman with text labels

Sensory aspects of speech linked to language issues in autism

Language problems in children with autism may be partially rooted in an inability to integrate sight and sound when other people talk.

By Hannah Furfaro
8 March 2018 | 4 min read
child anxiously sitting in stairwell holding knees closely

Anxiety may heighten social communication challenges in autism

Anxiety may exacerbate social communication problems in children with autism — and not the other way around.

By Abigail Fagan
6 December 2017 | 3 min read
Ilustration of scientists balancing precariously on a ladder and painting.

‘Tone’ of phrase may differ in autism, but meaning is clear

Adults who have autism speak with unusual emphases and tone, but their speech still conveys the intended emotions.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
3 October 2017 | 6 min read
Silhouetted portrait of a young boy

New diagnosis covers ‘borderlands’ of autism spectrum

Children with social communication disorder have the same features as children with autism; they just have fewer of the features.

By Hannah Furfaro
28 August 2017 | 5 min read

A call to scientists to develop communication tools for autism

People with autism who speak few or no words need tools that can help them communicate. Scientists could make this happen.

By Shannon Des Roches Rosa
20 December 2016 | 6 min read

Questions for Letitia Naigles: Parsing pronoun confusion

Children with autism tend to mix up personal pronouns when their language skills outpace their social awareness.

By Ann Griswold
7 June 2016 | 7 min read

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By Holly Barker
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Data access changes to UK Biobank stir unease in neuroscientists

“I feel a little bit in limbo,” says neuroscientist Stephanie Noble, who has paused a study using Biobank data after the repository shifted from a data download to a cloud-only access model.

By Calli McMurray
16 July 2024 | 7 min read