Autism Symtoms & Characteristics: Social Skills

A child with autism often has great difficulty with social interaction.  Parents may be the first to notice that their child seems indifferent to interacting with them.  For many children with autism, the social world seems confusing and unpredictable.

Children with autism don’t just experience difficulties in social situations, but struggles in everyday life.  Most children with autism don’t understand normal social cues.  Facial expressions and tone of voice are problematic to interpret and display.  And while not universal, regulating their emotions can often be challenging.  They may show signs of distress for no apparent reason.  Crying, verbal outbursts, and physical harm to themselves and others are probable.

Interacting with other children can be complicated.  Children with autism don’t understand the give and take of relationships or simple social games.  Sharing and playing interactively with others doesn’t come easily.  Most children with autism seem to prefer independent activities; therefore, social situations can be trying for the child and his playmates.

Due to difficulty understanding social situations many children with autism can become overly trusting and naïve, making them an easy target for bullies.  Seeing things from other people’s perspective is often an issue.  Because they are often unaware of the social rules of a shared conversation, they will say whatever they want, whether the subject is appropriate or related to what someone else is talking about.

Because it is possible for a child with autism to lose the skills he has already mastered, it isn’t uncommon for him to regress socially.  As children with autism get older, they may become increasingly aware of their difficulty in social settings and can become depressed or anxious.  Through patience, understanding and intervention, a child with autism can learn in time how to interact with others and become more functional in social settings.

Entry Filed under: Common Symptoms

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