How Do Problems In Social Reciprocity Make It Difficult To Converse With A Person With An Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Dr. Bauman answers the question: 'Social Reciprocity And Conversations?'

ByABC News
October 15, 2008, 11:22 AM

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: How do problems in social reciprocity make it difficult to have a conversation with a person with an autism spectrum disorder?

Answer: Social reciprocity is very difficult for autistic kids as well as for Asperger's because social skills are by nature novel. Unless one is in a play and has a predetermined script, it's very hard to have a give-and-take, conversationally. So it's unpredictable and this is extremely difficult for anyone on the autism spectrum.

In addition, someone in the autism spectrum may have a particular interest about which they're comfortable speaking about, that they have in their head so they don't have to generate new language, but they don't always realize that the person they're speaking to isn't really interested in that topic. And they don't pick up on the cues that the other person is sending them to say I'm not interested in it. So again, it makes conversational speech very difficult.