Social deficits and impairments are a common feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (Dogan, King, Fischetti, Lake, Mathews, and Warzak, 2017; and Thompson, 2015). With these deficits acquisition of social skills can be a prolonged process. It can also cause worry for families and caretakers that their loved one may not be able to develop personal relationships in the future. Some examples of social difficulty are initiating interactions, responding to initiation, maintaining eye contact, sharing common hobbies and enjoyment, reading nonverbal cues, taking perspective, understanding and using speech prosody and non-literal language (White, Keonig, and Scahill, 2006). This can seem like a daunting list, but there are empirically validated interventions that have yielded positive results in increasing social skills (Peters and Thompson, 2015; Dogan et. al, 2017).
Autism and Behavioral Blog
Social skills are an essential part of life even beyond the obvious implication that with good social skills a person can form meaningful relationships.
When a child with autism or any other special needs has acquired, to some degree, a certain set of skills in the areas of socialization and play, language, attending, group academic skills and maintains appropriate behaviors, this is a good time to start thinking about shadowing.
There's a 12-year-old girl named Jane standing near a group of girls who appear to be around the same age. She looks like she wants to join in their conversation, but she seems a little anxious. Jane has an extensive knowledge of history that she enjoys sharing sometimes at random and inappropriate times such as when she decides to join the girls' conversation.