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Understanding Autism And
Anxiety On Socialization

By Rachel Evans

There are many things about autistic children that people generally do not understand, and there are also times when the parents are just as baffled as everyone else. There is a lot of information out there about autistic children, but much of it is conflicting. It’s hard to know what to believe and what pertains to an individual child.

Parents naturally want what is best for their children, and they cannot stand to think that their children might be suffering. There can be huge problems with autism and anxiety on socialization for many families.

For a long time, children with autism have been misunderstood on one very essential point. It was long believed that autistic children did not have any desire to mingle with their peers. Parents would feel guilty about attempting socialization because they sensed the deep frustration and anxiety in their children. Trying to force children to play with other kids their age can be an exercise in torture for many autistic children.

Most children with this condition lack the basic skills they need to relate to their peers. They aren’t good at making or holding eye contact, they tend to center any conversations around themselves or on a narrow topic that interests them, and often have a hard time speaking to someone at all. Other children don’t ‘get’ them and most are not interested in trying to develop the relationship further.

Most parents were told for a long time that their children did not seek out this type of peer interaction. They were told their children would rather be alone, and that pushing them to socialize was harming them.

Studies have proven this to be wrong.

Many of these children do crave peer interaction, but they simply don’t have the tools to do it. This leads to mounting frustration and anxiety issues for both the child and that child’s parents.

Many autistic children show signs of wanting to stay away from peer socialization, and remain in the company of adults that they trust, or to be by themselves. This is not necessarily their wish, but because they have such a hard time with interactions, and the anxiety is so overwhelming, they withdrawal into their own place where everything is less stressful and right again.

They want to interaction, but it is often so painful they give up on it rather quickly. A child who is shoved into this type of social setting without preparation can suffer huge amounts of frustration, and the anxiety will be overwhelming. Knowing how to proceed with socialization is not something a parent knows instinctively. Even when they seek help, sometimes answers are just not there.

Because there is such a wide range of different problems for children with autism, they must each be treated and handled differently when it comes to socialization.

There are great programs that can help, but each does have its own set of drawbacks. There are special educational classes, but there are negatives to these and some parents don’t want to use them. Some can be in the regular classroom, but they are often singled out as ‘different’ and this can be very difficult for parent and child.

A proper evaluation and plan of action is essential when it comes to addressing the issues caused by autism and anxiety on socialization. Usually it comes down to a trial and error scenario before you find a method that suits your child and you. Re-adjustments might always be something that is necessary as time goes on.

Author - Rachel Evans

The Essential Guide to Autism