Children with autism do not show the burst of vocabulary growth that usually accompanies learning to walk, according to a new study1.
The findings add to mounting evidence that motor development is linked to social and language skills in children with autism.
Walking gives toddlers an efficient way to explore their environment and initiate social interactions. Studies show that language skills typically blossom after children take their first steps2. Many children with autism have atypical gaits, however. And those who show early signs of motor problems tend to be slow to develop language skills3.
The new work suggests that regardless of when children with autism learn to walk, they do not show the same vocabulary gains that their typical peers do.