Peggy HallidayPeggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.
Host: What are some examples in language difficulties with autism? Peggy Halliday: Language impairments with autism include lack of speech or very little speech or delayed speech. If there is speech, it may be a difficult for an autistic child to sustain a conversation and the speech, they have may be very literal, they may have difficulty understanding idioms or figurative speech. There also are impairments in a child's ability in terms of echoing what is called echolalia. They may repeat scripted sentences or phrases that they have heard either on a video or perhaps conversation that they have heard if autistic and then also included in this area of communication are impairments in imitative play and imaginative play.