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Autism and communication

Social communication

Autism affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people. Social communication and social interaction styles are different from those used by the neurotypical population (NT). Within the autistic community, every individual also has their own communication and interaction style.

Up to 30% of autistic people have limited or no speech, either completely, temporarily or in certain contexts (UK Parliament Post, 2020).

My teenage son has significant struggles with his social communication. He doesn’t enjoy socialising to any level. This may change in the future but in a neurotypical world, this can create real difficulties. There are expectations, he plays rugby and the social expectations around this cause him huge anxiety. He can even get anxious over answering the door for a pizza delivery order that he’s been looking forward to… read more

Emily, parent

Social interaction

Autistic people often find it easier to interact socially with other autistic people, rather than interacting with neurotypicals (Crompton, 2020).  This is due to differences in social interaction styles.  Breakdowns in interaction between autistic individuals and neurotypicals can impact on friendships and getting on with each other. Autistic friendships are often built around shared interests rather than small talk!

Some autistic people find it easier to spend time in their own company, or they can prefer to interact in alternative ways such as through social media or online gaming. These channels are not as intense as face-to-face interaction, which can very tiring and result in a “social hangover”.


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