Sign language acquisition in a mute autistic boy

J. D. Bonvillian, K. E. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


A mute autistic boy learned to communicate extensively through American Sign Language. Over a six month period he produced many spontaneous signs and sign combinations, and analyses of the child's sign combinations indicated the presence of a full range of semantic relations. Further evidence of conceptual progress was provided by the child's increased score on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. In addition, parents' and teacher's reports indicated that the child's social behavior improved. The extent of the boy's linguistic progress and associated improvement in social behavior markedly exceeds that usually reported for mute autistic children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1976

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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