Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: What are some categories of abnormal social functioning that might contribute to a diagnosis of autism?
Answer: This certainly can include and probably one of the biggest ones is picking up on nonverbal cues -- body language, facial expression and so forth. Making friendships can be difficult, but obviously because one isn't picking up on social cues, that makes that difficult. Social reciprocity, yes, that's also difficult; just empathy, trying to figure out how the other person is thinking, which is called 'theory of mind.' Realizing that someone else has thoughts other than your own also can be difficult.