Language in autism appears to be best characterized by a selective deficit in applying language forms for purposes of func- tional communication. This pattern of selective deficit has been called the ‘‘form/function dissociation.’’ This article outlines the language characteristics most often associated with autism and considers whether the observed patterns are specific to autism as a syndrome. Those characteristics that appear to be syndrome-specific are analyzed from the perspective of the form/function dissociation. Intervention considerations are briefly reviewed.
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