Vocabulary Development for Pupils with Social Communication Needs

** Many pupils with social-communication needs, especially those on the autism spectrum, have difficulty with the ‘semantic’ aspects of language. Semantics involves our understanding of words (receptive vocabulary), our choice of words when speaking (expressive vocabulary), and the way we use words to get across what we really mean (pragmatics). Any or all of these areas may need support. Verbally able pupils may develop an extensive, in-depth vocabulary for their special interest or obsession but be at a loss for topics that do not interest them or for everyday words e.g. those describing time or feelings.

** Resources

There are many excellent resources, locally produced and commercially available, offering guidance for pupils with social communication difficulties with autism. See References.

A useful source of information is the Lincolnshire autism/asperger Outreach Service, based at:

  • Gosberton House School near Spalding
    (Tel: 01775 840250)
  • St Christopher’s School in Lincoln
    (Tel: 01522 528378)
  • Lincolnshire Support Services, The Priory Witham Academy, Lincoln
    (Tel: 01522 681600)

Another useful source is the National Autistic Society which has a wide range of leaflets, booklets and books available, covering the age and ability spectrum.

Contact NAS Publications: Tel: 020 7903 3595 www.autism.org.uk/pubs

** This is used throughout the document and refers to puplis with autism

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Last updated: 28 October 2015

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