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Social Interaction and Autism

Girl with folded armsPeople on the autism spectrum vary enormously from each other but they all have impaired social skills of one kind or another.

Those social skills include social interactions (such as sharing interests with other people), the use of non-verbal communication (such as making eye contact), and the development and maintenance of relationships (such as making friends).

For example, some people on the autism spectrum

  • Are unwilling to make direct eye contact with other people
  • May not respond when their name is called or when they are spoken to
  • Find it difficult to understand other people. For example they may not be able to read facial expressions or body language.
  • Are unaware of social conventions/appropriate social behavior. For example they may not understand the importance of taking turns during a conversation.
  • Are extremely directive and controlling or overly passive. For example, they may insist that everybody has to do what they want.
  • Find it difficult to deal with conflict. For example, they may not understand the difference between being assertive and being aggressive.
  • Are indifferent or averse to physical contact and affection. For example, they may not like being hugged.
  • Don't  share objects (such as toys) and emotions (such as excitement) with other people
  • Express inappropriate emotions (such as laughing or smiling at the wrong time and place.)
  • Prefer solitary activities and do not try to make friends or would like to make friends but don't know how.
Updated
01 Nov 2017