Recent empirical and theoretical work on both normal and pathological development has led to the formulation of the metarepresentational conjecture for autism. This account of autistic development links the core impairments in imaginative abilities, communicative skills, and social competence to dysfunction of a single set of underlying cognitive mechanisms. In this context, Mundy and Sigman (1989) argue that the impairment of early gestural communication in autism cannot be accounted for by the metarepresentational theory. On the contrary, this early communication impairment in autism is highly consistent with a faulty theory-of-mind module. In normal development, this module is available from around the first year to handle estensive communication – shared pretense being a prime, though slightly later, example. We briefly consider the role in communication of perceptual processes that may trigger metarepresentation. This early theory-of-mind module, with its metarepresentational processes, provides the specific developmental basis for later versions of the child's theory of mind.