Every child needs to have a system of communication that can be understood by others.
The development of a child's communication system should be based on the level of communication that he/she demonstrates spontaneously.
There are three primary components of communication:
1) the form of the communication (e.g., behavioral, nonverbal, verbal)
2) the function, or purpose, of the communication (e.g., to get attention, to request, to protest)
3) the context in which the communication occurs (e.g., it occurs, with whom it occurs)
Children with autism often demonstrate unconventional, disordered, and/or immature ways of communicating.
Communication intervention should focus on the development of communication skills that are functional and meaningful for the child.
Appropriate communication intervention involves structuring the environment to provide the child with opportunities to communicate spontaneously throughout the day, in a variety of situations, and with a variety of people.