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Children with Autism : Nature of Language Development and the roles of others’ input and Language Therapy on the Acquisition process

One of the major characteristics that manifest human development is the remarkable ability to acquire a language in a span of four or five years. Once we appreciate the true depth of a language and its nature, we certainly appreciate that language acquisition represents the greatest learning achievements in human cognitive development. Regardless of wide variation in their environment and intelligence, children grow up to achieve full competence in their native tongue. Thus, it is a fascinating facet that children accomplish in mastering the various properties of their NL so easily. All children with normal brain function achieve a complete linguistic competence.

Therefore, investigators who have observed and studied children's uses of language distinguish between language order and language disorder or pathology. Even though all languages reflect general properties of a common linguistic system, not all children are capable to conceive and perceive their native languages perfectly. In this vein, many children aren't able to achieve normal children's linguistic competence. They suffer from a language delay that hampers researchers to ascertain how much of the linguistic signal the child understands.They struggle to cope in every day society. One of the brain disorders that are normally diagnosed in early childhood is autism. Statement of the problem: During their first years of linguistic development, language users try to bring their general language capacity into operation since language comprehension precedes language production. That’s why first language acquisition is remarkable for the speed with which it takes place. They manage to use linguistic competence in speech understanding and production. Normal children are able to access the linguistic storehouse to articulate speech in real time. But sometimes we note that not all children are endowed with language skills.

This is the case with children with autism; they suffer from language impairment that its cause is still a basic core for alive research. This population; autistic children with language disorder, will be the population studied in this present research. This dissertation aims at gaining more insight into the linguistic skills that autistic children might have. I will focus on understanding the factors associated with linguistic styles in a number of children and to assess the nature of their contribution to the language acquisition process. The nature of language functioning in autism is the essential issue that this study will shed light on.

Children with autism introduce irrelevant data and they cannot use language appropriate to the social context (pragmatics), they produce a sort of language without recognizing what is wrong or right to say in a particular context. They only produce repetitive words with the absence of full sentence construction; MLU (syntax), they only produce sounds (phonology) and words (morphology) without distinguishing between the given and new information. They cannot use the language heard creatively (lexical diversity). Thus, the main task of this study is to discover how the structure and the content of autistic children's speech compared at various stages of language development. Furthermore, those children aren't able to conceptualize notions of self and other (the use of deixis). Then, the side sequences of speech (clarification, misapprehension...) that are inserted within the talk addressed to autistic children will be compared to those of the speech directed to normal developing children.

To summarize, this research bears on a number of questions related to the linguistic capabilities a child with autism has -mainly at the level of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, and the role of the environmental linguistic data in providing sufficient structure for these abilities to flourish. I will try to gain insight into the hindrances that make first language learning quite impossible.

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