Social Communication

The child who is non-verbal and has difficulty making his needs known obviously has communication difficulties.  But there is a wide variation in the extent of difficulty with communication, and even a child who apparently has lots of language may have real difficulties communicating with others.


Take Ros Blackburn for example, a woman with autism who helped Sigourney Weaver in her role for the film Snow Cake.  Ros says that she finds it easy to give talks about autism to audiences of hundreds of people.  However, what she finds difficult is the 1 to 1 conversations that may follow.  For the rest of us it would be the other way round.

Difficulties with social communication include the following:

  • not speaking, unusual patterns, echolalia, making up words, pronoun reversal
  • Difficulties with non-verbal communication, eg: tone of voice, facial expressions, body posture, gesture
  • Other difficulties:
  • Not understanding jokes or sarcasm
  • Not understanding common phrases and sayings
  • Taking things too literally