Language and Autism

Seminar 6
Feb 1, 2024, 9:00 am3:00 pm
PK-12 Community


Adele Goldberg, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology


Event Description

Language is full of hidden complexity. Most individual words and grammatical constructions can be used to convey a wide range of related meanings that are not easy to shoe-horn into a unified definition: leg can refer to a human leg, a table leg, or the leg of a journey; determine can be used to mean “decide” (determine the grading scale) or “discover” (determine the size of the fossil). This workshop will explore this complexity with a particular focus on implications for autistic individuals, who commonly experience language delays and ongoing communication challenges. Attendees will learn when and why the complexities inevitably arise in languages; review relevant experimental work involving autistic children and adults; and in the afternoon, we will open the discussion to potential studies or teaching tools, based on a combination of the issues raised and the expertise of the attendees themselves.