According to a recent study researchers say autistic boys with language problems might have a lot in common with boys suffering from a language-related disorder known as Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and they feel that these findings could help specialists better understand autism and how to choose the best treatments for individual components of the condition.
Researchers used MRI scans to look at Broca's area -- a key language center in the brain -- in autistic boys with language problems, autistic boys without language problems, boys with SLI, and normal boys. Normally, Broca's area will be larger on the side of the brain opposite from the person's handedness. In other words, right-handed people generally have larger Broca's areas on the left side of the brain. All of the boys in this study were right-handed.
Results showed boys with SLI and autistic boys with language problems both had larger Broca's areas on the right side of the brain instead of the left side. Autistic boys without language problems and normal boys had larger Broca's areas on the left side of the brain.
Thus researchers believe their findings would shed new light on autism and the notion that autism might be more a collection of related disorders with overlapping symptoms than a single disorder.