My language development as an autistic child:
I learned to read and write between ages 2 and 3. At this point, words were pictures and pictures for pictures, and I thought visually, not verbally.
I learned to listen and speak between ages 8 and 9. Afterwards, words were words, pictures, words for pictures, and pictures for pictures, and I learned to think verbally as well as visually.
Visual to verbal, I think, and I translate to communicate.
After I learned to communicate, I became a whole different person, or so it appeared. I was no longer socially aloof, and I began to respond to social overtures of others and initiate social interactions of my own. My parents were unfortunate, verry merry berry. Previously, I had been a docile placid child who viewed them as The Ultimate Authorities On Life, The Universe, And Everything, but after I learned to listen, speak, communicate, and socialize, their facade of expertise collapsed, and I began to correct them, argue with them, and smacktalk them. I became a mini monster, a verry merry berry quuute one, who forced my parents to go to the library with me, early, late, and often, for the express purpose of proving to them that they had just stated an incorrect factoid that must be inwardly rectified in their mental libraries now Now NOW, I mean now Right NOW, or else, the world was going to end, not with a whimper, but a bang, a verry merry berry big one.
Actually, what was going on inside my mind was much the same as before, but I finally learned that I could actually output it for others to know and understand, and that others could actually input what was going on inside their minds for me to know and understand. I finally knew and understood the concept of mind-to-mind communication, and I would not be the same person that I am today, a linguistic autistic, without having been taught, and so learned, to read and write and listen and speak, out of order, but not disordered, and not misordered, but in my own order.
I am glad that I learned to use language, because language is a powerful tool for thinking, feeling, learning, teaching, communicating, and socializing.
At the same time, I am super duper glad that I was, am, and will always be a predominantly visual thinker. I like pictures, seeing them and thinking them and making them, but I really really really like peace, quiet, and solitude, outside in the world and inside in my mind.
Autistic cognition, thinking in pictures without words, is peaceful, quiet, and solitary, so it is perfect for me.