Could Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ASD, involve a failure with respect to the ‘pragmatic’ or ‘doing‘ apparatus, with some individuals not inheriting the complete apparatus? Could a developmental failure in the pragmatic apparatus might be expressed as ASD? This apparatus tends to work in quite language-specific ways. It is, nevertheless, an essential aspect of all languages.
Missing a step or a mis-step?
ASD is a complex disorder limiting social skills and the ability to cope with changes of routine. It used to be thought that another character of ASD was a problem with play.
If by some genetic mischance any aspect of this apparatus fails to develop correctly, everyday interaction is compromised, and the consequences for the individual will be serious. If the whole apparatus is disabled , the handicap is severe. I ask whether a defect here might characterise ASD. I pose this just as a question.
It is noted that quite a number of children on the ASD spectrum have problems with the indexical pronouns, I, you, he, she, we, they. These pronouns are just part of a vastly more complex apparatus.
What would be the direction of causality? Would the social aspects of ASD obstruct the development of the pragmatic apparatus? Or the other way round? This and whether there is a contribution here to the management and treatment of children on the ASD spectrum I leave here as open questions.