The Connection with Social Impairment and ASD

Social Impairment and ASD
What is autism spectrum disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that impacts an individual’s communication and behavior.

What is a social impairment?

Social impairment can be defined by:

  • A lack of natural communication with others
  • Lessened empathy and awareness of others
  • A shortage of social reciprocity with others.

An individual affected by social impairment shows difficulties in social interactions not just based on current functional limitations, but also a lack of rich, historical knowledge about relationships and their complexities.

This is further complicated by the child’s level of cognitive functioning, behavioral rigidity, presence of anxiety or other comorbid conditions, and stereotypic or repetitive behavior.

What’s the connection between the two?

Social impairment in individuals with autism spectrum disorder is different from that encountered in other conditions.

Weakness in intuitive social skills is a hallmark indicator of autism. A lack of motivation to initiate or learn social skills can also be present among individuals with autism.

Let’s dive into social functioning features that can be affected in autism.
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Has trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feeling
  • Has trouble understanding prosodic elements in speech
  • Poor interpretation of the nuances of language and pragmatics of communication, including non-literal speech
  • Poor interpretation of gesture
  • Poor interpretation of social cues and the context of a social situation
  • Poor ability to regulate affect
  • Poor insight into complex emotions including the emotional aspect of relationships
  • Lack of ability to interpret what another person knows, feels or thinks and how the person might behave as a result
  • Poor ability to self-regulate behavior

Ultimately, the way social impairment presents can vary widely across affected individuals.

Effective interventions, in many cases, must be customized to address the particular needs of the individual.

Teaching social skills

Social skills are important to the individual’s success in the community, as well as interpersonal relationships.

TeachTown Social Skills has been designed for students with autism who often need extra support when it comes to mastering social skills.

The Social Skills curriculum, which is broken down into an elementary domain and a middle school domain, teaches socially-valid skills through animated video-modeling episodes, teacher-delivered lesson plans and student activities.

The elementary domain touches on:

The middle school domain focuses on:

  • Building relationships
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Personal care
  • Safety and community participation

To learn more about Social Skills and implementing this solution among your students, request a demo.

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