People who have autism are said to be on the autism spectrum. People on the higher end of the spectrum used to be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, but that term is no longer used. Instead, all people who are diagnosed with autism of any type are now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which is an umbrella term that covers all of the variants of autism. There is little difference between people who have Asperger’s syndrome and those who have high-functioning autism. However, people who have Asperger’s syndrome have better language acquisition skills in early childhood than people who were previously diagnosed with high-functioning autism. At Premier Life Coaching, we are sometimes asked about the difference between ASD and social anxiety. Here is what you need to know about these two different conditions.
How ASD and social anxiety relate to each other
People who have autism spectrum disorder commonly have problems with social anxiety. However, while people who have ASD diagnoses often struggle socially, not all of them will also be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. People who are on the higher end of the spectrum and who are bright may develop social anxiety disorder as a co-occurring diagnosis.
People with autism struggle with social interactions because of the manner in which their brains are wired. They have trouble understanding nonverbal cues that neurotypical people are able to read. When most people reach adolescence, their communication skills become sophisticated. They are not as literal as they were as children.
People who have autism have trouble understanding how communication changes as they and their peers grow older. This leads to difficulties in communication because they rely on what is being verbally communicated instead of including body language, tone, and other nonverbal indicators of meaning. Often, people who have autism are unable to understand rhetorical questions and sarcasm. Because of this problem, people who have autism may have issues when they try to interact with the people around them.
Some people who are on the autism spectrum will create their own rules by which to live. However, this can still create social conflicts. For young people who do this, they might press forward each day regardless of the conflicts that they encountered. However, they may be unable to handle conflicts that may carry serious consequences. People who have autism and who are sensitive may become avoidant and develop anxiety.
People with autism who also have anxiety are more likely to seek therapy even when they are not facing a crisis. People with autism who tend to press forward and ignore the strife around them are unlikely to seek therapy unless there is a crisis. The key is to help people who have autism to develop an awareness of their social problems and how they manifest in their lives. They must then be taught effective strategies to compensate for their social deficits.
People with autism who work actively to improve their ability to comprehend nonverbal communication can make substantial progress. When they work on it, their brains begin to rewire in a manner that helps them to change.
Contact Premier NLP Life Coaching
If you have autism spectrum disorder and would like to improve your communication abilities, neuro-linguistic programming might be an effective way for you to accomplish your goals. Neuro-linguistic programming is a set of tools and models that can be used to improve your communication skills by providing you with an understanding of the interplay of the language that you choose, your actions, and your unconscious mind. To learn more, contact Premier Life Coaching today by completing our online contact form.