The challenge with relationships
Developing relationships outside of the nuclear family can be challenging for individuals on the Spectrum due to difficulty interpreting others intentions, nonverbal cues and limited social interactions.
Making friends in grade school, the dating scene, job interviews, interacting with coworkers can be overwhelming obstacles when social skills are lacking. Misunderstanding someone’s intent by missing the social cues can set the stage for embarrassment and feelings of rejection.
It is important to be direct and explicit in regards to what should or shouldn’t be done or said when interacting with individuals on the Spectrum. This is best done before the person is in the situation, decreasing anger, and avoiding hurt feelings and confrontations.
Navigating the social landscape
Many individuals are very blunt and straightforward and don’t anticipate that other people may have a hidden agenda. Difficulty making character judgements and identifying people who may take advantage of them can be a problem.
Frequently, individuals with ASD need assistance or support in navigating the social landscape. Support can come from a therapeutic environment or from family and friends as long as that support is caring and considerate of the person’s needs and wants.
Once clear on the parameters of the relationship and what is expected individuals with ASD can become loyal friends, dependable employees and creative problem solvers with their unique way of looking at the world.