Social interactions can be terrifying to many, especially children with autism. The skills required to start and hold a conversation are skills we pick up from observing others and then trying them out ourselves. While it is the same for children with autism, they take a longer time to develop social skills as compared to neurotypicals. Due to social impairments, it has been observed that children with autism, who do not receive many opportunities in interacting with others, face isolation and loneliness (Bauminger, Shulman, & Agam, 2003). As they fall behind peers in social development, they may face issues in school or work performance and develop psychological problems like depression and anxiety (Howlin, Mawhood, & Rutter, 2000; Shtayermman, 2007).
However, if they are taught and exposed to social interactions earlier, there will be more time for them to develop and practise social skills. Consequently, when they improve their social functioning skills, it can help decrease the risk of developing cognitive and emotional issues and increase their academic functioning and likelihood of developing meaningful friendships with others (Adreon & Durocher, 2007; White & Rob