User:Teromakotero/Autism/Social Interaction Problems

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 Social Interaction Problems

Autistic individuals are characterized by social interaction problems. These deficiencies of reciprocity in social contacts cause learning difficulties and problems in all activities with other people. Teaching social skills to people with autism is very important in rehabilitation and education. (Kerola & Kujanpää 2009, 35.)

Basic social skills include conversation skills such as listening skills, conversation, questions, presentation, thanksgiving, and assistance request. Social skills include the ability to recognize emotions in oneself and in other people, and learning to express their own feelings and to read other people's feelings. An important social skill is to find alternatives to challenging/aggressive behavior. (Kerola & Kujanpää 2009, 36.)

Different social development of people with autism generally begins in early childhood. Studies have identified two early development path characterized by autistic children. In one path the children are irritable and crying, while in the other path, the children are quiet and convenient. A common feature of autistic children is abnormal eye contact, because the child does not know how to use eye gaze as an interaction tool.  (Kerola & Kujanpää 2009, 37.)

People with autism often lack the ability to joint attention in social situations. Joint attention means the ability to joint experience with another person, for example, pointing on something to another person. (Kerola & Kujanpää 2009, 39.)

One theory to explain social interaction problems in autism is Theory of Mind. According to it autistic person has not developed the ability to understand other person's thoughts and feelings. This manifests as inability to settle in another person's shoes and understand the situations through other people eyes. Case is thought to be a cognitive problem that can be alleviated by teaching social and communicative skills. As a teaching method is used behavior modification with modeling, using cues and rewards. (Kerola & Kujanpää 2009, 39-42.)