When they are born, most babies seem ready to become sociable and develop communication
skills. Most young children just seem to know that other people are important to turn to for
comfort, to share moments of pleasure with, to look to for guidance and to learn from. Many
children/young people with autism do not seem to have this inbuilt need to be sociable in the
way that is defined by those who are not autistic, possibly because their brains have developed
differently from those who do not have autism.
HERE ARE SOME COMMON EXAMPLES OF DIFFERENCES IN SOCIAL INTERACTION:
- Some may seem less interested in people but prefer to focus on things in the environment instead.
- Some may show little awareness of the needs and feelings of others.
- Others may have a strong desire for social contact. They may be desperate for friends but just don’t know how to go about making and keeping them. They never seem to get it quite right.
- Some may prefer not to make eye contact with other people.
- Some may prefer individual activities rather than be part of a group. Their preference may be for spending time alone rather than with others.
- Some may feel more comfortable with adults rather than children, or others their own age.
- Some may have poor understanding of social rules, e.g. not knowing when to take turns in conversations or games.
- Some may insist on sticking to rules and become agitated if a rule is broken e.g. always driving the car at 30mph or less in a defined speed zone or telling the teacher which child in the class was speaking after she had asked for silence. This can make some extraordinarily honest.