RELEVANT SPEECH

Looked at from an autistic viewpoint, computers make relevant, and therefore acceptable, spoken input much more likely. For example, although Ferenc does not speak himself, he "hears" and understands speech when it is addressed to his current concerns, ie when it is relevant to him. People find it easy to identify the interest of someone who is making graphic things happen on a monitor, and they find it easy to become involved with it. Much conversation in the Mason family, especially but not solely between the children, is relevant to on-screen events. Micheal, first spoke (at the age of four) to the computer, calling out "Jump!" to a shareware game called Prince of Persia. Before long he was talking to people too - again, often in the context of computer games.