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A question about social skills

Posted by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 8:03 AM
  • 17 Replies

 I took my son to his pediatrician yesterday to get a referral to have him evaluated further.  The dr doesn't seem to think it is autism because my son does have some social skills.  For example, he will make some eye contact before looking away, and he will smile at others occasionally.  He seems to think my sons delays may come from "intellectual challenges" instead of autism.  I did push the issue and said I would like to at least rule autism out, and he did refer me to an autism center near me.  I am waiting to hear about that.  I also spoke to my son's former special ed teacher, and she said she definitely saw sensory issues with him and that his social skills improved a little over the school year.

My question is, would a child with high functioning autism have some basic social skills?  For the most part, he is social with me.  But if he is in a tantrum or meltdown, even I am not allowed to touch or talk to him.  He is social with people he knows well, but not with others.  He is sometimes even anti social with his daddy.  :(  It is all very confusing and I am trying to get as much info as I can.

by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 8:03 AM
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by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Yes, children with autism can have social skills.  Just remember, that autism is a, "spectrum", so all the kids are different.

My oldest son has an official dx of pdd-nos (high functioning autism) and he has a lot of friends.  My youngest son doesn't have an official dx and he really only has one friend.  

by Brittaney on Jul. 26, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Making eye contact isn't the same as maintaining eye contact. A lot of people told me my daughter couldn't have autism because she would make eye contact (normally if forced by the other person) and she is now dxed with autism. Kids on the spectrum can have social skills, it's just to what extent are they developmentally appropriate. My daughter is very attached to me but like you said, she's usually not social with her dad either. And she doesn't seem to recognize or get exited about her grand parents walking in but she will walk up to a complete stranger and want them to pick her up. So while the act of being social is very important to look at, it's not the whole picture ..... you have to see how they are being social.

by Jen on Jul. 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM
My son with aspergers is social - in his own way.

When he was little, he loved other kids. He liked to play. He wanted them to come over. He even attached himself to specific kids at school and insisted he sat by them. The thing was that as he got older and older, it was easier to see how his interactions were awkward. His conversations were one sided (his side) and if kids were annoyed, he did not notice.
Now he's 15 and he only has one friend. They only see each other maybe once every few months. My son now prefers to be at home like a hermit. He knows he can't connect with other kids. :(
But if you were to come over, he would try to talk to you and connect. He's much better with adults. Because adults are more tolerant.
He makes eye contact too. It's not great but he does. One thing I notice with him is when I ask him to get something for me, I still have to tell him, look at me. Or look at my finger (to see where I'm pointing) because he just doesn't do those things naturally or automatically. Or if we're out to eat, we have to tell him to pay attention to the waiter. Otherwise he has no clue they are talking to him!
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by Platinum Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Yes they can have some basic social skills. My son went straight to the doctor and sat right next to him when he was getting tested. Even when the school tested him he was sociable. But to a person trained in administering the test this is not an automatic no for autism. There are also ways the child is using the social skills they may have. My son would sit with the doctor or pyschiatrist but he wouldn't interact with them. He would smile but at objects such as balloons or bubbles but not at the doctor. 

Your son's pediatrician is not qualified to dx autism so I wouldn't take too much of what he said to heart. I am not saying that he is not a good doctor but he is not trained to administer the test. 

by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM

My son is considered high functioning, and he does have some basic social skills.  He uses them the most with us or people he is very comfortable with.  He also loves giving and getting hugs and kisses, and initially his desire for physical contact and his ability to use some social skills delayed a diagnosis of PDD-NOS.  

So yes, it is possible.

by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Everyone is different in their symptoms.  My son in the beginning when diagnosed at age three would not talk to children his age only adults or older children and teenagers.  Now he is 5 and talks to anyone.  

I suggest you have your child diagnosed by a child psychologist that has experience with children with Autism.

by Darby on Jul. 26, 2013 at 4:10 PM

These ladies have some great advice...all ASD kids are different!  Hugs and good luck...keep us posted!

by Hadley on Jul. 26, 2013 at 10:02 PM

My son is 3 and he has a few social skills, but not as many as I thought. Once I really started watching him with his friends I realized that he has very quick interactions and then retreats. He likes kids and wants to play around them, but isn't comfortable playing with them. I couldn't believe that people were questioning him being interactive with my husband and I because we are all very connected. I still think that just sitting next to your child is being interactive even if you are not playing or talking to them. We interact in a different way and I think it is beautiful, it's just not the same as a neurotypical child so It's a "sign". 

by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Yep! aspie's totally do

by Member on Jul. 26, 2013 at 10:17 PM

My DS has Asperger's.  He has some social skills.  He would play along beside other children, but not much interaction.  He will only play what he wants and if the other kids don't want to play what he wants to then he will play alone... no compromise.  His deficits become more obvious as he gets older.  He will be in 3rd grade this year.  He will make eye contact, but not for long.  He doesn't want to talk about anything other than his obsession.  He can't have two way conversations because he just isn't interested in what other people have to say.  He would be a hermit if I allowed him.  He never wants to go anywhere.  He just wants to stay at home.  At this point, he doesn't care if he has any friends. 

I wanted to get my son evaluated when he was four years old, but the pediatrician didn't feel it was necessary. My DH also didn't think he had any issues.  I was told I was being paranoid.  He wasn't diagnosed until he was seven years old, after his teacher wrote a letter of what she saw to the pediatrician.  If you think your DS needs to be evaluated then do it.  I very much regret not getting my DS evaluated when he was four. 

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