I was recently watching a short documentary about autism and I noticed
that the extraordinary abilities the subjects showed (drawing, by
memory, complex objects; playing, again by memory, a musical piece
heard only once; etc.) are highly reminiscent of the extraordinary
abilities demonstrated by babblers learning their first language.
Could it be that autistics use what people normally use for language
on other tasks? Does anybody know whether any work has been done on
the relation between language abilities and autism?