Autistic children advised to find their 'inner voice'

Autistic children advised to find their 'inner voice'

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) could find it easier to cope with daily life by using their 'inner voice'.

Researchers at Durham, Bristol and City University London found that adults with ASD do have the ability to "talk things through" in their heads but they often do not use it in the same way as those without the disorder.

However, developing the ability to "think in words" is linked to communication skills so teaching autistic children the skill could help them in adult life.

The study involved asking children to perform a task while repeating a certain word.

Although the control group were distracted and found the task more difficult, it has no impact on the children with ASD.

"Children with autism probably aren't doing this thinking in their heads, but are continuing on with a visual thinking strategy," study leader David Williams from Durham University said.

"So this is the time, at around six or seven years old, that these teaching methods would be most helpful."

However, according to Yale University researchers when a new diagnostic definition for ASD comes into force in 2013, obtaining a diagnosis could be more difficult.

Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.