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Semin Speech Lang. 2006 Feb;27(1):21-31.

Language play in children with autism spectrum disorders: implications for practice.

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  • 1Franklin County Home Health, 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, Vermont 05478, USA.


The purpose of this article is to present evidence for the use of language play by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) within the context of play with peers. A conceptual framework for the development of language play is described. This framework, which is supported by the literature on language play in typically developing children, is used to assess patterns of language play in children with ASD. The findings of a descriptive study are used to provide evidence for language play in the speech of children with ASD during interactions with typical peers and show that children with ASD use language play in a similar way as their typically developing peers with the exception of age of occurrence. Implications for clinicians in their work with children with ASD are discussed as they relate to the existence of language play in children with ASD and the function of language play as a tool for language learning.

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