Language Acquisition After Mutism A Longitudinal Case Study of Autism Case Study
Case Study  |   February 01, 1994
Language Acquisition After Mutism
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer Windsor
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis
  • Shirley S. Doyle
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis
  • Gerald M. Siegel
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis
  • Contact author: Jennifer Windsor, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders. University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455-0209. E-mail: windsor@vx.cis.umn.edu
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Case Study
Case Study   |   February 01, 1994
Language Acquisition After Mutism
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 96-105. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.96
History: Received December 3, 1992 , Accepted June 14, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 96-105. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.96
History: Received December 3, 1992; Accepted June 14, 1993

This longitudinal case study challenges the assumption that individuals with autism who have severely restricted speech and language skills have a poor prognosis for further development of expressive oral language. The study follows the development of a woman with autism from mutism at age 10 to acquisition of a range of spoken and written language skills at age 26. The intervention in which the woman participated and her skills pre- and post-intervention and at two follow-up assessments are documented. The results support the hypotheses that speech and language development may proceed after mutism associated with limited verbal imitation and phoneme production skills, that some skills may plateau or decline, and that both spoken and written language may become viable forms of communication.

Acknowledgments
We are indebted to Ann and her family for their participation in this project and to our colleagues, Patricia Broen and Richard Martin, for their contribution to Ann’s intervention program. Also, we wish to thank Donna Gunderson-Rogers for her participation in the second follow-up assessment, and the numerous graduate student clinicians and speech-language clinicians in the public school system who worked with Ann and provided insight about her skills.
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