Archive for June 10th, 2008

Social Impairments in Children With Autism

Social impairments are one of the main symptoms in children with autism. Children with autism do not have merely social difficulties like shyness. The social impairments they have can be challenging enough to cause serious problems in everyday life. A typical infant is very interested in the world and people around them. By a child’s first birthday, he/she will try to imitate words, uses simple gestures, and smile at people. But a child with autism may have a hard time learning to interact with other people. Many young children interact with others by imitating actions like clapping when mom claps. Children with autism may not do this, and they may not show interest in social games like peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake. Although the ability to play games is not an important life skill, the ability to imitate is. Some children with autism appear as though they are not interested in other people at all. Some might want friends but have social problems that make those relationships difficult. They might not make eye contact and might just want to be alone. Many children with autism have a very hard time learning basic social skills like taking turns and sharing.

Children with autism may also have problems with expressing their feelings. They might have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings. Many are very sensitive to being touched and might not want to be held or cuddled, which is often a form of social affection people use with each other.

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