Play and language in children with autism.
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It is well established that the play and language skills of children with autism are impaired. The article considers the relation- ship between these developments in typically developing children and children with autism. First, the evidence for a relationship between these two areas in typically developing children is reviewed. Despite many methodological differences between studies, this evidence supports a relationship, with specific developments emerging first in play and subsequently in language. Second, evidence for a relationship between play and language in children with autism is reviewed. From published and some previously unpublished data it is concluded that if there is a relationship between play and language in children with autism it is weak, if it exists at all. Finally, the implications of these findings are discussed and it is suggested that any relationship between play and language may be mediated by how children and their parents interact when they are playing.
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