What is social skill? Social skills are most often thought of as a set of skills that allow us to communicate, relate and socialize with others. Social skills include both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication.
Social skills can be learned, yet people seem to have an innate sense of good social skills. Others may struggle because of communication disabilities. For example, those with autism have an extremely hard time interpreting voice inflection, joking, and body language.
Autism is a neurological disorder, characterized by the presence of severe communication, language and social deficits in affected persons. Autistic people’s social skills are typically developmentally delayed compared to their “typical” peers. All autistic people show the same specific pattern of impairments in social skills, but the severity of these impairments vary from child to child.
Impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-contact, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction. Failure to develop peer relationships, lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people. Individuals with adequate speech, have no or very little ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others, or individuals who has a total lack of speech development are unable to create any communication or relationship with others. Lack of spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level. Preoccupation with one or more interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.
Also, these children have difficulties joining in a group conversation, unable to see how their behavior can affect the group or can cause any problems. They speak about happy or sad events without emotions expressed on their face. Furthermore they get into fights often times even for minor reasons.
Many autistic children also show profound empathy deficits. They develop only a very limited appreciation, or no appreciation at all, of other people’s feelings. They don’t recognize and respond to other people’s emotions. For example; when they hear someone crying out loud they often times start to laugh uncontrollably, which causes most time some stern and cruel reactions from “typical” children or adults.
A child who is socially in- adaptive could be shy, withdrawn, or aggressive. Lack of social skills can interfere with academic achievement. These children are unpopular among class peers, they are often loners in school, but comfortable with adults or younger children.
Autistic children find social interactions to be unnatural and quite stressful. Rather than creating relationships, most autistic children try to avoid them, choosing solitude and comfort in their own worlds, where they feel in control and comfortable.
Some autistic children learn quickly, yet have trouble communicating, applying what they know in everyday life and adjusting in social situations. That is why so important to help autistic children to develop some level of social skill.
Without social skill one may not reach their full potential.