Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: Do all individuals with autism have fundamental problems in social behavior, and how many major social difficulties must be present to justify a diagnosis of autism?
Answer: One of the core features of autism is to have an impairment of social interaction. It does not mean that the person is asocial, but that they have an unusual way of interacting with other people. There are no specific numbers of atypicalities in social behavior. All of the individuals are quite complex and each one of them probably does this somewhat differently than another. But the real bottom line is there needs to be some atypicality in terms of social communication at some level.