More often than not people with autism have social deficiencies and lack the ability to “mind read” or understand what others maybe thinking. They will not have the ability to understand body language or facial expression. Something we as a whole take for granted.
Social deficiencies become apparent early in childhood and continue through to adulthood.
Children with autism will pay less attention to social stimuli, they will probably smile a lot less and won’t be interested in engaging with others, they may also respond less to their own name.
You may find your autistic toddler for example, will give less eye contact, may respond less to his/her name, not be as cuddly and is more likely to communicate by pulling on your hand and leading you to what they desire.
By the ages of between three to five years old most normally developing youngsters will understand facial expressions, body language and non-verbal communication skills…and most definitely learnt how to manipulate their parents!…
Children with autism are less likely to exhibit any social understanding, they will almost certainly be less likely to approach others spontaneously, imitate and respond to emotions, and still not grasp the concept of turn taking.
However, Children with autism do form attachments to their primary caregivers, parents, and teachers. They will undoubtedly display less attachment than that of a normally developing child though.
Children with asperger or mild autism may be more likely to form stronger bonds, but as they grow older studies have shown they perform slightly less on tests of face and emotion recognition.
Making and maintaining friendships often proves to be difficult for those with autism. For them, the quality of friendships, not the number of friends, predicts how lonely they are.
Children with autism like all normally developing children do need friends…and as a parent or teacher of a child on the spectrum there are ways in which you can help them understand the importance of being a good friend. As well as helping them learn the skill of making friends, something again we take for granted, for a person with autism this skill does not come naturally, but needs to be learnt.
As a primary caregiver, parent or teacher, you can help by introducing the idea of autism social stories as a technique of explaining how we make friends, why we need friends and how to then maintain those friendships in easy to understand language.
These valuable short pieces of text are an excellent tool which you can use with your child on the spectrum to help them understand and control situations.
Appropriate autism social stories are well written in the first person and will have images and or photos showing your child on the spectrum in a clear helpful manner how, why, what, where and when they should do something. They will give the appropriate responses the person with autism may expect and also the responses they themselves should expect from others.
Studies have shown Children with autism respond well to autism social stories and by using them it is reported there is an improvement in their social understanding of certain situations, activities and events.
To obtain printable autism social stories – Autism Social development and deficiency which you can download and use visit