1. Parenting
    2. Autism
    3. Social Interaction



    Social Interaction

    Children with autism may find it difficult to establish and maintain social relationships. They may be unwilling to make direct eye connect, they may find it difficult to understand people or deal with conflict. Share your experiences, doubts and queries on gradually building social skills in children with autism! ... more


    Team ParentCircle Jan 3 2020

    @Team ParentCircle Very comprehensive and apt article. With so much compassion gradually developing around special needs it seems positive in terms of the future that lies ahead for children with autism or special needs.

    Team ParentCircle Jun 26 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Thank you so much for these suggestion. They are so simple yet so effective!

    Team ParentCircle Jul 10 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Thank you for this! Shall share it with my friend!

    Team ParentCircle May 24 2019

    @Team ParentCircle My cousin sister's daughter is autistic and I shared this suggestion with her. The child is 5 years old and loves to draw and colour. S probably she can use her artistic skills and combine what this mother has done to help her daughter.

    Pallavi Chaudry Apr 9 2019

    My friend's daughter has autism and what we notice with her is that she likes it when I visit her or when she is around people she likes. She cannot be with entirely new people. She starts panicking and she runs off to her room. She otherwise is very friendly to me, some of her close relatives and family. She is the only child and my friend is worried she would not even make any new relationships in future.

    Pallavi Chaudry Apr 10 2019

    @Pallavi Chaudry Dear Pallavi, your friend's daughter feels comfortable with you and other close relatives. If children with autism do not feel comfortable around certain people it becomes very clear from their body language. My brother's elder son is autistic and he behaves in a similar manner. He is very friendly with us, but runs into the room or some corner when introduced to new people. I feel this is a common problem with autism and we have to help such children to cope with their surroundings, better.

    Pallavi Chaudry Apr 10 2019

    @Pallavi Chaudry We applaud your concern, dear reader! And you're right in your observations of your friend's daughter. Children with autism are more comfortable with familiar people because of several reasons: it is harder for them to understand social interactions and situations with its nonverbal gestures and unspoken rules, and it is also harder for them to pick up social skills, i.e., skills required to carry out conversations with others and behave appropriately in social situations. It is true that your friend's daughter will be more comfortable with familiar individuals but this doesn't mean she cant be taught social skills to help her navigate social situations with ease. Some of the ways we teach children with autism social skills are:
    1. Teaching stories: Use charts, pictures, or stories to depict sequence of events in common social situations such as going shopping, having a play date, or going to a restaurant. This helps teach the child what to expect in different social situations and what behaviours are expected of her.
    2. Reading: Encourage your friend to read simple stories to her daughter regularly. Getting acquainted with the different characters and plot will help her understand different social situations better.
    3. Modelling: This means explaining social situations to the child, as you go through the situations together. Demonstrate appropriate social behaviour (e.g., saying hi to a parent you've met at your child's school) and then explain to your child what you did (e.g., I met a parent so I said hi to her, looked at her eyes, and then smiled). It helps to explain the rationale of your actions to the child and encouraging her to ask questions.
    Try these strategies to help your friend's daughter make more sense of social situations and unfamiliar people around her. As she becomes more skilled, she will have higher comfort in interacting with others in such situations. All the best!

    Team ParentCircle Apr 3 2019

    What is better for improving social skills in my autistic child. Play Therapy or ABA. I am very confused

    Team ParentCircle Apr 8 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Dear parent, I can imagine having these options is confusing for you. However, you needn't choose between them. You could go for both, as play therapy and ABA are not mutually exclusive. Both therapist can help expand your child's social skill repertoire, albeit using different methods. The choice would be dictated by the play therapist or special educator delivering these interventions, as well as the goals of therapy. The choice also depends on your child's current level of functioning. For example, if your child with autism has some prerequisite attention and imitation skills, then video and live modelling might be an appropriate choice of intervention for him but if not, then ABA would be more appropriate. Also, play therapy and ABA can also be combined in creative ways to facilitate the goals- for example your child can be taught to become more independent through including activity schedules in his routine, wherein ABA therapy can form a component in the day. Also, both play therapy and ABA will require a lot of support from and involvement of parents in the process, as parents will need to practice in the home setting all the skills taught to the child by the therapist. Hope this information helps. All the best!

    Team ParentCircle Mar 22 2019

    You can make this summer a memorable one for your autistic child by doing these fun activities tailor-made for him.

    Team ParentCircle Mar 14 2019

    Who would have known that gardening could help autistic children? Yes, through this simple act, children with autism, learn to communicate, cooperate and process emotions better! Know how!

    Priya Sahay Feb 20 2019

    My sister's son is autistic. He is 16 years old. Though her husband is otherwise very nice, they often keep fighting over the child. He blames her for anything wrong that the child does. Even in front of relatives and friends, he criticizes my nephew and sister. My sister feels very bad, but does not say anything. She also feels that her son his like this because of some mistake on her part. How can I help my sister?

    Priya Sahay Feb 22 2019

    @Priya Sahay How difficult it must be for your sister to deal with this! Misconceptions about autism are very common. The biggest one being- autism is the fault of the parent- either the parenting style or the upbringing. However, this is not true. Autism is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and is certainly not caused by faulty parenting. Your sister requires support, because she appears to be stressed due to the undue criticism. She will feel supported in the following ways:
    a) Surrounding herself with supportive and positive people who help her in seeking professional help (such as occupational therapy, special education, structured teaching etc.) for her son.
    b) Cutting out or turning a deaf ear to unsolicited advice and criticism from family members or relatives. Trusting her own intuition with her son while also educating herself about autism from reliable sources, such as ParentCircle. This will help her internalise that autism is never anyone's fault.
    c) Joining parent support groups for autism (both face-to-face and online) to receive emotional support and scientific knowledge.
    d) Taking care of herself. Too often parents of children with autism don't prioritize self-care. Regular routine for her own sleep, exercise, and recreation is extremely important.
    I hope your sister feels supported and strong enough to handle the negativity and feels empowered to take steps in the right direction!

    Best wishes

    Team ParentCircle Jan 29 2019

    My son is 14 years old and is autistic. He gets very irritated whenever my mother-in-law tries to tell him something. He yells at her for the slightest of things. If I tell him to calm down, he even starts throwing things at me. I am going through a very tough phase, please help. What can I do?

    Team ParentCircle Jan 30 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Thank you for the question.
    1. He is going through a tough physical, emotional and sensorial transitioning.

    The changes he is going through are very much a part of his growing up. If we can help this child through this phase, he will be able to transition from the future stage to stage much better.

    Transitioning from a youngster to a young adult is very traumatic for the children with autism. Their voice breaks, sexual maturity starts taking place, emotional spikes just rock their very foundations.

    Least amount of instruction is needed. Any other communication to him has to be as a suggestion and offered for choice making. Please allow time and space for him to make a choice. He may not make a choice before he is fully ready to do so. Please respect his wishes. If you hasten him to make a choice before he is ready it can result in regret and remorse within him which may cause adverse reactions such as anger, anxiety, aggression, frustration etc.

    Listen, listen with your heart for his wishes. Make it easy for him to transition. He is probably terrified of these changes. Probably misses the child in him too. Allow him the space to grow up gracefully. You will rest assured have a well grounded, well rounded young man showing you a new way to live.

    Trust the process, trust your child.

    2. It also appears that he is no different from any other teenager going through these exact same shifts.

    No teenager likes to be told what to do. So is it with your son. Due to the communication difficulties of the nature of autism it appears rather bigger than what it is.

    Please talk to the grand parents about the growing up and reason it out with them. Explain that any teenager will react in exactly the same manner. It is not personal for them, he has nothing against them but only is experiencing growing up pains.

    Love & light,


    Team ParentCircle Jan 3 2019

    While most adults understand how to deal with an autistic child, younger children dont. Parents should explain to their child about autism and how to deal with his autistic sibling.

    Click here to read >>> https://www.parentcircle.com/article/how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-an-autistic-sibling/

    Team ParentCircle Jan 3 2019

    @Team ParentCircle While most adults understand how to deal with an autistic child, younger children dont. Parents should explain to their child, who is normal, about autism and how to deal with his autistic sibling.

    Dr. Meghna Singhal Dec 17 2018

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by difficulties in social interaction and verbal and non-verbal reciprocal communication.
    Social disconnection is one of the most striking features of autism. Children with ASD appear unable to interpret the social world and its oft-unspoken cues. For this reason, they appear aloof and distant. It is not uncommon for children with autism to disregard the whole person, focusing only on one body part at a time. They are said to have mindblindness or the lack of ability to take another persons perspective, and respond accordingly. This makes it difficult for them to display social and emotional responsiveness. Thus, neither are they able to express their own needs clearly nor are they able to understand and interpret the needs of others.
    Children with ASD display limited use and understanding of non-verbal communication, such as taking into account changes in facial expression or gesture. They have difficulty making and maintaining eye contact, one of the most essential micro skills required for social interaction. For most children, basic social skills (e.g., turn taking, initiating conversation) are acquired quickly and easily. For children with ASD, the process is much more difficult. Whereas, many children learn these basic skills simply by exposure to social situations, children with ASD often need to be taught skills explicitly.
    Due to all these difficulties in social interaction, children with ASD have difficulty making and maintaining friendships or other meaningful social relationships.

    Dr. Meghna Singhal Dec 27 2018

    @Dr. Meghna Singhal Thank you, ma'am. This is really helpful. My nephew who is having autism also does not like to talk to anyone or come to places where there are lots of people. Her parents are worried, but I understand this is something normal for them. But I've noticed, she talks well with me and her father, but as you mentioned, avoids eye contact. My doubt was, what are some ways by which they can be entertained? Her mother says that she sometimes just sits by herself without doing anything. Won't they be bored? Is that what makes them comfortable?

    Dr. Meghna Singhal Dec 31 2018

    @Dr. Meghna Singhal Good job talking with your nephew with autism! Children with autism like to play, but their play is different from their typically-developing peers. In fact playing with a child with autism can be very challenging for an adult, due to the child's difficulty in communication and restricted repetitive interests. However, an adult and a child with autism can enjoy many activities together. To choose an activity, start by observing the child's play, and if he is verbal, ask questions. What does he enjoy? Next, try joining in the child's activity, following his lead. With you're playing with a child with autism, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way of playing- the most important part is engagement and communication, not instruction. Following are some activities that you can enjoy with the child: legos, trains, science fiction and fantasy, swimming, building or taking apart (e.g., items such as small clocks), walking or hiking, and puzzle solving. In most of these activities, the ability to speak, sit still, or otherwise 'behave normally' are not required. So try some of these or other activities with your nephew and have fun!

    Team ParentCircle Dec 6 2018

    Looking for some simple but fun activities to help your child improve his/her social and behavioural skills? Here are a few suggestions from our side to help your child have fun and enjoy with outdoor games as well as contribute to his emotional and physical well-being. Click here to read https://www.parentcircle.com/article/5-outdoor-activities-for-children-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-asd/

    Team ParentCircle Dec 6 2018

    @Team ParentCircle Outdoor play benefits all children, and it can improve behaviour, social skills and attention in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Time to show your child the joy of great outdoors