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Research Paper Sample: Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Effects on Social Skills

5 pages
1235 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Autism is a multifaceted neurobehavioral disorder characterized by impairment in developmental language and communication skills and the inability of social interaction often combined with inflexible constantly repeated behaviors. Often referred to as autism spectrum disorder due to its numerous symptoms. ASD can develop into a devastating life disability often calling for special medical care. Children with autism have difficulties in communicating. This makes it challenging for them to express themselves either through words, use of gestures or through the use of facial expressions since they are not able to understand what others feel or think.According to Firth and Meyer children with ASD are not able to understand various perspectives which makes them susceptible to misjudgments and unreceptive interpretation of the social circumstances that face them. Because of the negative impact that social skills have on autistic individuals the society finds it important to devise operational techniques and approaches to enhance the development of appreciative social acceptance and social functioning. Individuals with autism may portray various body movements such as hand flapping, rocking or pacing repetitively. These children may also have self-injurious behaviors, attachments to impairment which tends to derail their overall development especially skill development which is the reason for impairments in social interaction and language development.

Symptoms of autism show within the first three years of birth, however in some cases the symptoms can begin to appear in between the age of 18-36 months. The disorder is highly prevalent in boys than in girls. Biologically, genetic factors tend to predispose the child to autism for example advancement in parents age at childs birth is likely to favor the occurrence of autism. Risk factors, however, tend to steer up the likelihood of one developing the disorder. These risk factors include metabolic conditions such as obesity and diabetes, use of alcohol during pregnancy and use of anti-seizure drugs by pregnant mothers is the one that is most affected. The social sense relates to our intuitive understanding of how to read, reach out to others and successfully interrelate with other people in the society. One of the ways through which social issues may manifest through autism is children showing lack of interest in interacting and connecting with other members of the society. Children with autism tend to be less interested in activities done by other kids collectively, find it hard to relate to the environment surrounding and also tend to elicit some degree of hostility.

Children with Asperger syndrome may also face difficulties in successfully developing good interpersonal relationships. Peers with the syndrome may have difficulties in social interactions (Wong 776). Children with this disorder are always the target of bullying by other students in school due to their unusual, distinctive behaviors, clear-cut language, and disinterest in other students. Their inability to understand various non-verbal cues and respond to them appropriately leads to them getting segregated and rejected by other students. They tend to face challenges in developing functional language. ASD in infants may contribute to some degree of a mental retard. Teaching social skills aimed at promoting development will remove behavioral and emotive problems among children with ASD and also facilitate interactions in the social world (Gresham, Frank, and Stephen 37).

According to (Maenner 12), developmental trajectories in adolescents and adults with autism; for individuals with ASD, the normative challenges linked to the transition to adulthood are compounded with several complications unique to ASD. This transition involves many other educational, relational and occupation transitions. They are often difficult for individuals with autism because the phenotype behavior of autism and the heterogeneity of this disorder makes it problematic for individuals development of expectations about the future.

Autism can lead to anti-social behaviors and later on withdrawal from other people, especially during adolescence. Adolescents with ASD face a hard time trying to understand inferred social situations and maintain a grasp of school content (Maenner 14). Most autistic peers risk being drawn into unsuitable peer groups. Teenagers with autism are not able to socialize successfully hence they end up socializing with people older or younger than them better than their age mates. Teens in adolescence tend to struggle with challenges of social isolation. Research shows that teens with autism are less involved in communal activities at school and even at community level, unlike their adolescents counterparts.

Social issues may also manifest from the disorder especially in times of employment. Adults with autism tend to have difficulties in social skills development and developmental language which makes it hard for them to communicate with the interviewers during job interviews (Lunsky, Yona, Carolyn, and Elspeth 1008). For this reason, the opportunity is affordable to people who can communicate efficiently hence living out autistic adults. Even if they are to be employed, they are continually challenged by interpersonal communication skills at work hence they end up quitting. Another problem often faced by autistic people is homelessness as they are not able to openly express themselves to other people (Levy, Alissa, and Adrienne 1276).

People with autism are likely to exhibit alexithymia and mind-blindness which creates difficulties in relationships for them. Alexithymia is the inability to recognize, interpret and accommodate other peoples emotional signals. Mind-blindness on the hand can be defined as the inability to calculate and expect intentions, opinions, and beliefs of other people around them. These two traits found in autistic people reduces their ability to be empathetically attuned to others hence making relationships difficult for them. From these two traits, people with autism tend to be insensitive in how they deal with other people as they are not in touch with the feelings and emotions of other people around them. Tony Attwood stresses that inability to adequately express ones emotional state using words may push autistic individuals to articulate the emotions and release the emotive energy physically. Adults and even children with alexithymia traits are often exposed to effective outbursts such as rage and crying due to their incapacity to control emotions such as sadness and anger.

At an advanced age, individuals with autism may have difficulties in choosing a life partner due to their poor social skills, and for this reason, they may end up unmarried. People with autism are often detached from the world around them, and the constant changes and numerous inconsistencies in the social world may pose a challenge to the autistic people. Even if they are to get into marriages people with autism often tend to have difficulties in communication which is key to any successful marriage.

In conclusion, autism is a developmental disorder that severely compromises the social development of a child. Individuals with autism normally become socially isolated and intellectually impaired. This kind of impairment causes them problems in career development and more so makes them unable to choose their life partners hence they end up unmarried.


Works Cited

Gresham, Frank, and Stephen N. Elliott. "Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) RatingScales." Bloomington, MN: Pearson Assessments (2008).

Wong, Nina, Et Al. "Facial Emotion Recognition in Children with High Functioning Autism andChildren with Social Phobia." Child Psychiatry & Human Development 43.5 (2012): 775794.

Maenner, Matthew J., Et Al. "Evaluation of an Activities of Daily Living Scale for Adolescentsand Adults with Developmental Disabilities." Disability and Health Journal 6.1 (2013): 817.

Lunsky, Yona, Carolyn Gracey, and Elspeth Bradley. "Adults with Autism Spectrum DisordersUsing Psychiatric Hospitals in Ontario: Clinical Profile and Service Needs." Research inAutismSpectrum Disorders 3.4 (2009): 1006-1013.

Levy, Alissa, and Adrienne Perry. "Outcomes in Adolescents and Adults with Autism: A Reviewof the Literature." Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 5.4 (2011): 1271-1282.


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