There are four specific characteristics common with people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. These include a lack in social skills, deficit in communication, repetitive interests and distress in response to change.
Social skills include a number of skills such as taking turns, sharing and waiting patiently, but the main focus of social skills is communication skills.
Social skills are usually divided into three groups :
- social intake: listening to and watching what other people are seeing, doing or saying
- internal process, understanding what is being seen, heard or done by other people,
- social output, how one reacts and communicates that reaction.
Individuals who are on the mild end of the autism spectrum may need to be taught social cues. For example, if you tell your dad you forgot to clean up your room, but you can do it tomorrow, if he says, “Fine,” in a normal tone of voice and his face does not change, then it means that is okay. It is fine.
HOWEVER, if he says “Fine!” in a loud tone of voice while frowning, that does not mean it is fine. It means he is angry.
On www.wrongplanet.net , the on-line community for people with Asperger’s and other Autism disorders, there is often discussion about the fact the confusion over the fact that you cannot understand what a person means by listening to the words they said. Sometimes, “Fine” means “all is good” and sometimes it means “I am mad at you”.
Asperger’s as you have learned is a milder version of Autism. On the next page, let’ s hear from Blastland again about his son at the other end of the spectrum.