Autism is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder of genetic origin. Among the primary characteristics of autism are impairments not only in language but also in communication. In this chapter I address the challenge of studying language development in children who lack the basic motivation to communicate with others, even when they may have acquired some linguistic competence. I begin with a description of the disorder and an overview of the kinds of language deficits that have been identified in autism. Then I take up different methodological approaches that have been used in research on language development in autism and discuss some problems encountered in using these methodologies. In the final section of the chapter I explore the possibility of using novel methods drawn from other research paradigms that may help shed further light on the mysteries of why children with autism seem to have such limited interest or ability to communicate with others.