One of the biggest hurdles for children with autism is developing meaningful relationships as they have difficulties in social engagements and the acquisition of communicative skills. For some children, acquiring language skills in itself is a challenge, not to mention understanding how to express themselves appropriately. Hence, it will be even more difficult to use these skills to develop friendships. Children with autism also have problems reading non-verbal communication cues such as body language, tone of voice, gestures and facial expressions. The lack of communication and social skills is thus, known as one of the primary symptoms of children with autism. As a result, they have a hard time establishing friendships and relationships, even though one child’s condition can vary very much from another, from high functioning to low functioning. Even though the level of skills for each individual differs widely, they all need the social aspect to develop and grow.
As much as a typical child needs to learn from socializing, it is no different for children with autism. Social communication and the establishment of meaningful friendships or relationships are very important aspects in the developmental process of integrating into mainstream society. Let us take a look at how friendships can positively impact children with autism.