Communication difficulties with autism

For children with autism communication both verbal and non-verbal is an area of difficulty.


A typically developing child will naturally learn communication skills from their environment, family, parents and peers, by watching and picking up on social cues and interactions.


However this natural skill for picking up and learning social and communication skills is missing in children with autism. Generally autistic children live in a literal world and are not interested in people watching or picking up social etiquettes and cues.

Most autistic children will have difficulties with the use of language and will not understand expressive language, wit, humor, sarcasm and so on. They will have difficulties with intonation, rhythm, word and sentence meanings.


It is universally believed that teaching communication skills to autistic children needs to be done directly through the use of visual supports. This is a tried, tested and proven method used by parents, teachers and professionals and is significantly successful.


Experts agree the use of visual supports in autism is an important part of teaching communication skills to autistic children. Since their introduction almost twenty years ago autistic social stories have become a major tool in teaching these skills.


Social stories were first developed twenty years ago by therapist Gray as a means of teaching communication to the autistic children she worked with. They have since evolved dramatically into the visual supports in autism used today.


Following a specific formula social stories are short visual descriptions of a certain task or skill written following a set pattern using four main sentence types to describe in detail, giving clear focus to the main points of the skill or behavior the social cues.


Widely used as a tool for aiding communication difficulties with autism social stories are used affectively by parents, teachers and other professionals to help overcome the many issues arising from issues surrounding the complex communication difficulties with autism.


However even though experts in autism agree social stories have a significant role to play in teaching communication skills to autistic children it is still for many parents a struggle to gain access to this valuable tool.


Many parents and teachers now use sites such as to source appropriately written autistic social stories.


Other sires use by parents and teachers providing expertly written autistic social stories tackling the communication difficulties with autism can be found at:

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