Autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties

Children with autistic spectrum disorder will have social difficulties regardless of their age or ability; this is thought to be due to the ‘triad of impairments’ which are common to autism.


What is the triad of impairments?


Are social skills deficits in three main areas, social skills, communication skills and imagination skills; all children with autistic spectrum disorder will have varying degrees of social skills deficits.


Methods of addressing autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties in communication skills.


All children with an autistic spectrum disorder experience communication difficulties. Although language itself may not be affected the way the child expresses themselves and uses language will almost certainly be affected. As will the way the child uses non-verbal language such as gestures and signals.


For many children with an autistic spectrum disorder understanding language is problematic and is one of the major causes of autistic social difficulties.


Imagine being dropped in a foreign land with no means of communication, where everybody talked in a way you could not totally understand, this is what it can be like to be autistic and have communication difficulties.


What we do know for certain is that the vast majority of autistic children are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think and digest information easier if the information is visual.


Therefore, visual strategies which can enable autistic children to understand what is happening around them, what is expected of them or that they can use to express themselves should always be visual.


With autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties the most common visual strategies used are social skills stories, PECS, flash cards and other visual strategies such as visual timetables, choices boards and mini schedules etc.


Developed twenty years ago social skills stories ARE a major tool for autism that can be implemented and used to address many social skills deficits.


Social stories are a major tool for autism which needs no formal training to use, can be edited and personalized.


A social skills story is a simple description using first person text and visual images or pictures of an everyday social situation, activity or event shown visually from the child’s perspective, much like a visual plan or framework and acting as a role model to the child.


For example, a social skills story can be used to help a child prepare for upcoming changes to routines, or learn appropriate social interactions for situations that they encounter.


The goal of the social skills story is to give the autistic child a chance to rehearse the skill, change to routine or behaviour making them feel more relaxed and less anxious. Then, when the situation actually happens, the autistic child can use the story to help guide his or her behaviour.


Research shows that using social stories can have a positive affect on autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties, giving simple and clear descriptions of social cues and appropriate behaviours.


Generally social skills stories should follow a set pattern of sentence type. All social skills stories should be flexible and be editable, as we all use different language and expressions.


To learn more about how social stories can help address autistic spectrum disorder social difficulties visit:




A. S. D. Social Skills Stories

A. S. D. social skills stories were first used around twenty years ago as a method for teaching and communicating with children on the spectrum.

They were developed to aid communication in both verbal and nonverbal kids with autism. The goal being that children on the spectrum were able to use the A. S. D. social skills stories as a tool to help them clarify and understand information and directions.

A. S. D. social skills stories provide the child with autism explanations and possible behavior suggestions for situations, skills and behaviors that they may find difficult or confusing.

Used effectively as a tool to teach social and communication skills to kids with autism spectrum disorder the  social story uses visual cues to show the child with autism what is expected of them as well as what they can expect from others.

Kids with autism spectrum disorder have social skills impairments which make social and communication skills difficult to master.

ASD social stories therefore help to teach social and communication skills to individuals with autism spectrum disorder, visually almost like a comic strip script, the skill or behavior in terms of relative social cues and prompts making it easier for the child with autism to understand the “wh” question (who, where, When, what and why)

Research shows us that teaching social skills to kids with autism spectrum disorder is made easier when visual aids are used.  

Consequently, parents with autistic children and teachers use visual tools such as social skills stories for teaching social skills to kids with autism spectrum disorder. The social skills story is visually rich and is used much like a step by step visual plan detailing the skill being mastered.

Showing the child with autism visually possible outcomes, giving focus to the key points, showing the child with autism spectrum disorder how another person may re-act or feel in the situation by describing another’s point of view.

The social skills story can also be used to help with routine changes, teaching skills and behaviors, explaining rules and so on…

ASD social stories use a specifically defined style and format. They are mainly written by experts in autism.

Many parents with autistic children, teachers as well as other professionals use social skills stories for autistic children to teach even the most basic social skills such as tooth brushing to complex social skills like attending a wedding, a birth even explaining how to make friends, have conversations, ask questions and more.

To download A. S. D. social skills stories for autistic children on a variety of issues visit any of the following sites:


Autism goals for interaction

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological disorder affecting the autistic individual’s brain; this can affect how the person with autism spectrum thinks, re-acts, acts and behaves.


Autism impairs the autistic individual’s social interactions and communication skills and can cause restricted and repetitive stereotypical behaviors.


Typically kids with autism spectrum disorder have difficulties with verbal and non-verbal communication this can impact on their abilities to socially interact.


Autism is characterized by several developmental challenges. The autism symptoms can include:  Language may develop slowly or not at all. The autistic child may use words without attaching meaning to them. They may use echolalia, and have poor attention spans.


The child with autism will probably prefer to spend time alone rather than with others, shows little interest in making friends, and be less responsive to social cues such as eye contact or smiles.


These autism symptoms impact on the autistic individual’s ability to interact effectively and can cause isolation and social blunders. Consequently, when deciding on Autism goals for interactions these autism symptoms should first be looked at.


Typically developing children learn social skills such as social interactions naturally through play, from their peers, parents and those around them. This ability is missing in kids with autism spectrum disorder and social skills should be taught directly.


Generally kids with autism spectrum disorder rare visual learners and will better understand any social skills teaching when taught and re-enforced visually; this is achievable using visual supports for autism spectrum disorder such as social stories.


Using visual supports for autism spectrum disorder can make the implementation of autism goals for interactions much easier. By careful observations parents of autistic children can determine which social interaction skills their child is finding difficult and an appropriate social skills story can be put in place to help them overcome this.


Many parents of autistic children use social skills stories to help teach social, communication, imagination and interaction skills with great success rates.


The social skills story is visually rich with short appropriate pieces of text set out in a specific format. Developed almost twenty years ago social skills stories are probably the most significant autism tool used to help kids with autism spectrum disorder overcome social interaction difficulties.


To find appropriate Autism goals for interactions social skills stories as well as social skills stories for other social skills teaching such as making friends, answering questions, appropriate touching and many more visit any of the following sites and gain immediate downloads:


Autism and play in preschool children

In a study of preschool children with autism spectrum disorder it was found that this set of children were disadvantaged in the way they play.

Characteristically preschool children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to play as a normally developing child would. This lack of play skills can aggravate the child’s social isolation from their peers, and only underline their differences from other children.

So what is play?

  • Play should be fun and enjoyable.
  • Play should have no set goals imposed on it from outside influences; it should be imaginative and sometimes impulsive.
  • play should be spontaneous and voluntary
  • play should involve some kind of active involvement on the part of the player
  • play can be solitary or enjoyed with friends

The Development of play

Children’s play should go through a number of developmental stages

  • Sensory motor play, stimulation from objects, for example a baby gym.
  • exploratory and manipulative play, for example Lego
  • physical play including rough and tumble
  • social play, playing with their peers, playground play
  • pretend play or make believe

Why do children need to play?

Play allows our children to learn new skills and practice them in safe supportive surroundings.

Sensory motor play teaches babies and young infants about their own bodies and about objects in their immediate surroundings. The bright colored toys stimulate the babies mind and he/she will reach out to grab and explore the toy.

Manipulative and exploratory play teaches older infants about various objects, what they do; sound like, how they react together and how they influence the world they are living in.

Physical play, rough and tumble play, teaches toddlers and pre-school children some gross motor skills, which will provide them with the experiences of whole body interaction with others.

Social play is vast right from the mother and baby interactions to children’s make believe play, for example, playing mummy’s and daddy’s, which teaches children about social relationships in the world they live in.

Typically the autistic child on the other hand likes repetition and things to stay the same, and may display stereotypical, repetitive and stimming behaviors, mostly their play will be solitary.

Preferring their own company to that of others, an autistic child will find interactive, make believe play strange and may not understand the reasons for this kind of play.

So how do you help your Autistic child play?

One method it through direct teaching, typically children on the autism spectrum do not learn play skills naturally and like social and communication skills direct teaching is often needed.

One method of direct teaching for children on the autism spectrum is the use of social stories for autistic children.

Significantly social stories for autistic children can be implemented to help teach and re-enforce play skills and other skills the child with autism struggles with.

Social stories are short explanations using visual images, much like a comic script to detail the skill or situation from the child’s own point of view and in a manner that they will understand.

Social stories for autistic children follow set patterns, are generally easy to use and implement need no training to use and will be editable making them ideal for all.

To view and learn more about how social stories visit: