Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Deal With Negative Autism Social Skills

Autism social skills greatly affect the behavior of autistic individuals in social settings. Autism itself can create problems for individuals in their speech, language, or behavior. For some with autism, language may be delayed, speech may be difficult for them, and there are often other behaviors noted such as hand flapping or head banging.

A person's symptoms will depend on many factors. For some individuals the effects of autism may result in less obvious problems, they may speak normally and may exhibit wonderful mastery of language. It may only be in social behaviors that the extent of their autism is truly noted.

Children who have autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have problems in most of their social interactions. This is difficult for the children and for the parents who want their kids to be integrated into many different social settings. Even though these children have some great qualities to offer to the world and other people, their autism social skills often holds them back and some of these kids may never learn to develop true friendships. The autism prevents them from assimilating the normal, fluent "give and take" behaviors of conversation in a regular, everyday setting.

For most people interacting with others, making friends and developing relationships all happen effortlessly. Children with autism social skills suffer utter failure with many of their attempts at any social skills. They truly do not understand what they are supposed to do or say and they are hurt when their attempts at being part of a group are met with failure or ridicule. With autistic children part of the problem lies with their own deficits such as avoiding eye contact, lack of empathy or a diminished ability to infer what is of interest to others.

Some people think that these children are not interested in interacting with others, but this is not true. It is just their inability to work within the typical framework of our social settings that is creating obstacles for them. These children with autism social skills often suffer from increased anxiety when they have to speak with others or discuss something in class. This type of anxiety can be overpowering to the children and often leads to even more pronounced inhibitions on their part.

Most people figure out what creates unbearable stress and we try to avoid situations that create high levels of stress. For people with autism almost every social setting can be fraught with these very stressors. This means that many of them will try to avoid the problem of stress by avoiding all social activity.

When a child continually avoids social encounters, they are also foregoing the opportunity to acquire social interaction skills. With some autistic individuals, social skill deficits will then lead to negative interactions with their peers. Many of these children are met with rejection and they suffer from isolation, anxiety, and depression.

Having a way to help children learn social skills and actually be taught how to make friends and create friendships will help. Parents and teachers need to teach these skills, not just address them with words, and then they must make certain that there are peers around who will accept and understand these overtures from autistic individuals. Through more social interaction with teaching and environmental modification, these children will begin to gradually learn the same social skills that most people take for granted.

The best way to help people with autism social skills is to recognize the problem they are having and gradually introduce them to social settings, very small groups at the start, teaching them that they have nothing to fear. Over time, the size of the group and the length of the social setting can increase as their confidence grows, but it is something that cannot be rushed or forced.

For more insights and additional information on coping with Autism Social Skills as well as finding a wealth of additional resources related to autism, please visit our web site at

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