Children with autism may have differences in social development to their peers. De-coding the social world can be very challenging; often finding it hard to read the body language of others or understand how their actions affect those around them. This can make coping with the demands of everyday life difficult. Social stories are often suggested as a helpful means of explaining the expectations of the social world. It is important that those developing social stories have a sound understanding of them, as explained by carolgraysocialstories.com because the aim is to assist an autistic person in understanding a likely social experience.
Meaningful, expressive, and reciprocal communication are all areas that develop differently for autistic people. This impacts on interaction with family, friends and professionals involved in their care. These areas can often be supported, by a carefully selected and taught range of strategies, including augmentative and visual communication, to support both understanding and expression. This can help equip a young person with the means to communicate, seek help and support when they feel they need it.
Young people with an autism spectrum disorder often find comfort and experience a reduction in anxiety from areas of special interest and routine. Coping with change can feel extremely stressful. It is likely activities are frequently repetitive and even behaviours may be repeated over and over. Favourite songs, phrases, programmes, or characters are also very common. A preference for sameness is often apparent. Placing belongings or setting out activities in a routine and repetitive way is common. Lining up objects and repeating the same play patterns can foster a reassuring predictability that can help to diminish some of the anxiety associated with managing change.
As a result of these areas of development, people with autism spectrum disorders may feel isolated, frustrated and lonely. Communication may be interpreted very literally which can add to anxiety and confusion. Sarcasm and socially founded jokes, interpreting body language and facial expressions can all escalate anxiety and trigger stressed behaviours. They may be very literal in the way they interpret what others say, so jokes and sarcasm can cause confusion. They may also have problems with interpreting facial expressions, which may make other people seem unfriendly.