I am pretty much a text book example of a ‘late talker,’ aka ‘Einstein syndrome’ (though I’m no Einstein!). Whether or not this puts me on the autistic spectrum seems to be a matter of disagreement, nor does it matter much at this point in my life. Here is bit from the Wikipedia entry:
Late talker is a term used for exceptionally bright people who experience a delay in the development of speech. Commonalities include usually being boys, delayed speech development, highly educated parents, musically gifted families, puzzle-solving abilities, and lagging social development. Many high-achieving late talkers were notoriously strong willed and non-compliant as children.
The rest of the article is here. I don’t want to nor will I claim to be ‘exceptionally bright.’ I’m certainly not a genius, just a guy with some brains and some talent. And I am still rather non-compliant. :)
No one did anything about my aversion to speaking as a little kid. My grandmother thought maybe there was something wrong with me but my parents chose not to intervene. And, as most late talkers, I grew into language eventually.
I will say that I think I never really ‘got’ language until I learned to read. Seeing those words laid out in an orderly fashion on the page made a lot more sense to me than people’s jabbering (I could say the same about reading and understanding music). I did — and still do — like to put things in order, which is sometimes a mark of autism. Again, at my age it matters not at all.
I wasn’t an ‘early’ reader — I didn’t get the opportunity — but once I started to read, I read voraciously. Anything and everything, kids’ books, adult books. I suppose I still didn’t talk that much, and still don’t. I do have problems with social anxiety (extreme ‘shyness,’ if you will, which is something quite different from being an introvert).
I was also early in physical development, walking way before most kids. I guess if I wasn’t ready to ask about things, I just decided to go and see for myself. I haven’t changed much there either.