SPEECH AND PROSODIC CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTISTS
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder which results in triad of impairments i.e. social communication, social interaction & stereotypical behavior. The researchers working in this area have proved that Autists have atypical language development. However, there has been less research in this area, particularly there is scarcity of research to explore phonological errors made my autists. Moreover, there isn’t enough research to find the impacts of age and gender on autists’ unconscious knowledge about phonetics of any language. Such a study is very much vital not only for the betterment of these children but also in designing the overall educational language policy. Present study is an attempt in this direction. The researcher selected 6 autists of 4-20 years of age. Children were chosen from the autism center for children in Rawalpindi. The selected children had no significant differences in age of onset, acquisition of first word, family history and comorbid diseases. The data was collected through researchers’ observational notes, psychotherapist’s diary notes, and interviews with parents of ASD’s and psychotherapist &recording of autists’ conversation with their speech therapist. The results showed that autists faced different difficulties in observing the segmental and suprasegmental rules of speech. Secondly, it was observed that there is much heterogeneity in the problems faced by ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders). In addition to this, the research also highlights the fact that the results show variation on the basis of age but no such significant differences were observed on the basis of age of autists. Above all, the researcher highlighted the pedagogical implications of the study and also gave recommendations for educational language policy.