The child or young person with autism may be less likely to engage in shared experiences which may impact on their motivation to join in group activities, such as social games and sports. A lack of understanding of social interaction skills and missing the social context of situations often leaves the young person with autism on the periphery and can cause isolation. Misunderstandings may arise with the social use of language and in interpersonal engagement and unspoken aspects of communication
The high social demands of school often lead to young people with autism experiencing high levels of anxiety or stress and require support to develop emotional management skills. They may possess limited self-awareness and therefore may not be aware of internal feelings or mood states. Understanding self-awareness may require focused teaching. Specialist approaches to teaching personal understanding of their own condition may be required. Individuals may develop more awareness of their differences within a mainstream peer group. This may be reflected in difficulties building positive self-esteem. Information gathered from their profile will identify abilities and strengths to be built on.
A young person with autism may have a single minded focus on developing friendships. They may desperately want a friend and can misinterpret kindness for friendship and become attached to someone who does not consider them a friend. Inflexibility of thought and a lack of appreciation of the others feelings may result in rejection.
A ‘fragile sense of self’ may leave pupils vulnerable to additional mental health difficulties.