Impairment of social interaction
Impairment of social interaction includes difficulties in understanding other people's feelings and emotions, as well as expressing the child's own feelings. A child with autism often prefers to be alone than making friends with others. In less severe cases when he/she does make the approach, then it's likely to be in a strange and inappropriate way (for example talking continuously about cars without paying any attention to the listener)
The most severe form is indifference to other people's feelings, emotions and beliefs - while still showing enjoyment with some kinds of physical contact. There is a suggestion that autistic children are not able to understand that other people have thoughts, emotions and feelings.
Some other examples of impairment of social interaction:
* Visual avoidance: trying to avoid eye-contact, making no visual contact
* Lack of joyful expression
* Lack of response to name
* Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
* Not cuddly
Frith, U. (Ed.) (1991), Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gillberg, C., Persson, E., Grufman, M. and Themner, U. (1986), Psychiatric disorders in mildly and severely mentally retarded urban children and adolescents: epidemiological aspects. British Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 68-74.
Action for Autism Spectrum Disorder
The National Autistic Society
Autism Society of Michigan