Children with autism often have poor communication skills. Here we can see an autistic child who uses another person’s hand as a play tool.
In a typically developing child, if they cannot make themselves understood through spoken language, they normally try to compensate by using gesture. Autistic children characteristically do not gesture spontaneously. They therefore find it very difficult to make other people understand what they want. In some cases, they even use another person’s body to request or communicate. Here is Richard, age four, who is using my hand as a tool to operate a pop-up toy. This behavior is very characteristic of autistic children, but remember, we do not see it in every autistic child.