Being overwhelmed by social interactions

One of the most common aspects of autism is having trouble with social interactions.

This can come out in very different ways, and change as a child gets older.

These are some things you may notice:

  • Not making eye contact with others

  • Not liking physical contact with others

  • Trouble interacting with people in typical ways

  • Trouble making friends 

  • Not understanding social cues. This means a kid may not be able to "read" facial expressions or body language.

  • Social anxiety. This means someone gets stressed when they are with other people.

Social skills can be learned! Most kids develop these skills naturally, but many kids with autism have to practice and learn them in a more structured way. Therapy and skills training can help with this!

Here are some things you can do:

  • Understand that this is because of how their brain is "wired", not because they don't love you, and not because they are rude or insensitive. Be patient with these challenges and know that they may show love and affection in other ways.

  • Include social skills in your goals for your child. They can be learned, and  If you're getting services through Early Intervention, Special Education or Transition, ask how to include these skills in your child's plan.

 

Click here for an article about making friends. (From the Washington Post. It will open in a new tab.)

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