A late talker is a toddler who experiences late-language emergence (LLE), a delay in language onset with no other diagnosed disabilities. There are certain characteristics that late talkers share. For example, late talkers are significantly associated with being male, having a lower socioeconomic status, and having attention problems.
Late talkers can often be misdiagnosed early on as having severe ("low-functioning" or nonverbal) autism spectrum disorder (a category known simply as "autism", prior to the DSM-5), and careful professional evaluation is necessary for differential diagnosis, according to Darold Treffert and other experts. One major difference between late talkers and low-functioning autistic children is that for late talkers, communication skills automatically reach a normal level and the child requires no further special treatment with regards to speech. Also, toddlers on the autism spectrum show a more severe delay in vocabulary development than late talkers and to prevent misdiagnosing late talkers, it is vital to monitor other domains in toddlers development including cognitive, communication, sensory, and motor skills. 
Outlook for late talkers with or without intervention is generally favorable. However, late language emergence can also be an early or secondary sign of an autism spectrum disorder, or other developmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, learning disability, social communication disorder, or specific language impairment.
Einstein syndrome, a term coined by the economist Thomas Sowell, is also sometimes used to describe late talkers. The term is named after Albert Einstein (often said to have been a late talker, though with questionable evidence), whom Sowell used as the primary example of a late talker in his work. Sowell also considered Edward Teller, the mathematicians Srinivasa Ramanujan, Julia Robinson, physicist Richard Feynman, and the pianists Clara Schumann and Arthur Rubinstein to be in the late talkers group. As a toddler, the scientist John Clive Ward showed similar behavioral traits to those described by Sowell, according to a brief sketch in his biography.
Sowell claimed late talkers are often inaccurately categorized as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that a small subset of late talkers are highly intelligent children with common characteristics concentrated in music, memory, math or the sciences. However, such characteristics are also found in the autism spectrum.
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