•• Children with autism learn words in the same sequence or
pattern as typically developing children—they just learn
words more slowly.
•• Speech-language pathologists and other professionals can
use typical vocabulary development to guide the goals they
set during early intervention.
•• Early treatment should focus on teaching action and
descriptive words (also known as predicates – e.g., eat, love,
hungry, big, red, under, yucky, out, etc.), and not just focus on
object words (also known as nominals – e.g., ball, dog, mum,

By: Pat Mirenda and Karen Bopp with Jenea Peralejo, M.A., and Judith Johnston, Ph.D. – University of British Cokumbia