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Understanding autism

Receptive language

The process of receiving and understanding language which is spoken or written by others. Difficulty with receptive language means that the person has delay and/or difficulty in making sense of what other people say or write down. Problems are likely to include difficulty in understanding vocabulary or grammar, difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds and in understanding the meaning of sentences. Difficulty with receptive language is common on the autism spectrum and is often accompanied by expressive language difficulty. (See also expressive language.)

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