Most children with autism are very keen to have friends and interact socially, but often have difficulties knowing how to make, and keep, friends. Social graces don’t come naturally to people with autism, so they often need to be explicitly taught the hidden social rules.
Differences in social interaction
People with Asperger syndrome often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome* (AS) have a harder time in social situations, but they can get much better at them. They can be pretty far behind when they begin, and improvements may come slowly, but at least some people with AS will tell you they eventually managed to acquire a decent base of social competence.
A recent Yale study found that individuals with autism spectrum disorder traits are as good or even slightly better social psychologists than those who do not have traits of autism.
Is Aspergers genetic?
The cause of Asperger syndrome, like most ASDs, is not fully understood, but there is a strong genetic basis, which means it does tend to run in families. Multiple environmental factors are also thought to play an important role in the development of all ASDs.
Social Skills and Autism
- Direct or explicit instruction and “teachable moments” with practice in realistic settings.
- Focus on timing and attention.
- Support for enhancing communication and sensory integration.
- Learning behaviors that predict important social outcomes like friendship and happiness.
Teach the child some practical skills to integrate into social settings. It may be helpful to practice introductory conversational tactics, like asking if he or she can join in. The child may benefit from practicing appropriate “openers” such as “Can you help me with this?” or “Can I play too?”
Are people with Aspergers smart?
When you meet someone who has Asperger’s syndrome, you might notice two things right off. They’re just as smart as other folks, but they have more trouble with social skills. They also tend to have an obsessive focus on one topic or perform the same behaviors again and again.
Do people with Aspergers live independently?
Though some may need assistance, many adults live with Asperger’s syndrome independently. However, long-term planning by their family may be required.