Autistic people, including those with Asperger syndrome, often communicate differently. They may have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice, or it may take them a little longer to understand. Some autistic people have a very literal understanding of language, and think people always mean exactly what they say. They may find it difficult to use or understand:
- facial expressions
- tone of voice
- jokes and sarcasm
- vague or abstract concepts
These traits can express themselves in different ways. For instance, someone with Asperger syndrome may be very funny or sarcastic themselves, but they may not always pick up on sarcasm.
People with Asperger syndrome usually have good language skills, but they may still find it hard to understand the expectations of others within conversations, perhaps repeating what the other person has just said (this is called echolalia) or talking at length about their own interests.
People with Asperger syndrome may need more time to process information, and often find it easier to understand clear, consistent language, rather than abstract turns of phrase.