Socialization skills are a challenge for autistic children. In addition, what about recognizing new faces? Are autistic children considered to be shy if they do not recognize a face, or do they find it a struggle to know who the faces are? If this is true, why?
Learning from my years of experiencing various autistic children with their levels of developmental functions, have indicated to me, autistic children seem less likely to feel comfortable around unfamiliar faces.
My brother, was a perfect example of this kind of behavior, who was autistic.
Individuals, whether they are adults or children who do not have autism, memorize faces and features without realizing it.
An average face is what we think and feel and it tends to make a picture in our mind of what people look like.
What about new faces, that are not familiar to autistic people? These faces could be a struggle for them, because they are not able to identify the variations of the unique features new faces have.
For example: The different shapes of faces, hair color, skin color, hair that has a perm, faces may be round, oval, long and thin, or round and fat. In addition, if the individuals wear hats for different types of seasons. These variations can change the appearance of the new faces. This could be a struggle for autistic children.
I have discovered by observing my brother, he does not experience face identification in the same way children do without having autism. This is a challenge for autistic children to adapt to new faces.
Autistic children feel comfortable with their surroundings of familiar faces.
For instance, my brother could relate and identify faces with our family, his parents, siblings and relatives, when they were present in his environment.
When my brother was placed in a new location or a different place, with new faces, he struggled to adapt to them. He had a difficult time identifying who they were and did not understand that the faces were other people who had unique personalities. He could not comprehend the variations.
Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that, some autistic children have a harder time relating to new faces. The reason for this could be their brain is not quick to understand that a face, which is different from what they see and interact with, is not normal to them.
This is a struggle and a challenge for the autistic individual, as well as the parent(s), caregiver(s).
What can you do about the fact that autistic children may struggle with viewing and relating to new faces?
Have your child participate in more social activities, if possible. Have your child identify new and old faces, that would help your child see the similarities of new faces and the differences.
You can do this by using flash cards, drawing faces, playing games and relating to your child the variations and the descriptions faces have. Be creative.
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