THE BLOG

Verbal Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

05/13/2014 05:07 pm ET | Updated Jul 13, 2014
Alley Kat Photography via Getty Images

At least she can talk.

Is she verbal?

I thought autistic kids couldn't speak?

I don't mind the questions, I really don't. I just want to clarify a few things.

Verbal doesn't mean what you think it means.

Children with autism, Kate included, have deficits in communication regardless of their verbal abilities.

Diagnostically, there must be a communication deficit to be considered autistic.

Language and communication are two different things.

Highly verbal individuals with autism are still unreliable in terms of communication.

Non-verbal individuals with autism are unreliable in terms of communication.

Non-verbal children can and do communicate in many different ways.

Answering questions, having a conversation and making requests can be extremely difficult for individuals with autism.

Nuances of conversation, idioms, metaphors and body language can be confusing and frustrating.

Our Kate does hours of therapy every single day to work on communication and socialization (which is a form of communication) skills.

Our Kate will undergo a cognitive assessment this month. She will be given the non-verbal assessment because, even though she can talk and does talk, she does not efficiently communicate.

Does that make sense?