Latest News » Study shows better-than-expected speech development among children with autism

Autistic children with language delays may be able to speak fluently later on.

Autistic children with language delays may be able to speak fluently later on.

Every year, one in 88 children born in the United States is diagnosed with some form of autism, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Depending on the severity of their disorder, among other factors, this condition can take on many different forms. Many autistic children, for example, exhibit a substantial language delay, often remaining nonverbal by age 4 or 5. However, while in the past some doctors predicted that kids who did not speak by this age would likely remain mute in the long-term, a new study has revealed this may not be the case.

According to reports, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Baltimore, Maryland, have found that most children – up to 70 percent – who were unable to form phrases by age 4 could develop the ability to do so within a few years. In addition, 47 percent of the 535 autistic individuals involved in the study spoke fluently by the time they turned 8, sources state.

"We found that nonverbal intelligence was the strongest predictor of phrase speech, while social interest and engagement were as robust, if not greater, when predicting the age that children attained phrase speech and fluent speech," said study lead author and neuropsychologist Ericka Wodka, Ph.D., in a press release from the institute.

"We hope the results of this study empower parents of children with autism," Wodka added, noting that it may also have substantial ramifications for future treatment methods.

Though there is no cure for autism as of yet, the choices you make regarding autism nutrition and therapy options may help manage some of the symptoms children with autism experience.