Chapter 9.docx - Chapter 9 Social Development in Autism Social deficits are a core feature of ASD infants through adulthood regardless of high or low

Chapter 9.docx - Chapter 9 Social Development in Autism...

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Chapter 9: Social Development in Autism - Social deficits are a core feature of ASD - infants through adulthood - regardless of high or low functioning - since Kanner first described autism, social deficits have been included as a hallmark of the disorder - Social deficits are among the most persistent problems - longitudinal studies have shown some improvements over time (from childhood → adolescence → adulthood) - improvements in social domain seem to be much less than improvements in other domains such as communication or repetitive behavior - How do we define and measure social abilities? - how we interact with other people - there are standardized tests that can measure language function and cognitive abilities - not the same standardized measures for social abilities Early Development - Social deficits in ASD seen as early as 1 year - some may show up earlier, but not as consistent - Typical social development requires experience - if newborns don’t have interest in the “social world”, they won’t develop social skills - Is there a critical period for social skills development? - we don’t know - early intervention - starting interventions during what may be a critical period for development of social skills may change the direction of how the brain is being wired/developed Foundational Social Skills - develop very early and are the foundation for later more complex social abilities such as symbolic play, theory of mind, conversational skills, etc. Three Main Foundational Social Skills: 1. Eye Gaze - where individual is looking/focus of attention - eye contact 2. Imitation - ability to imitate others’ actions - important for learning
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