Children with autism have a hard time with developing language and sometimes lose speech at 18-24 months and begin talking only later in their development. Sometimes they may not start talking at all. Some children would repeat the words and phrases they hear from various sources such as TV shows without understanding what the words mean.
Autistic individuals also have impaired non-verbal communication. They may not understand the meaning of different gestures. They also may not point to objects, make eye contact or smile when others are talking to them. Their responses or lack thereof may lead to isolation in a social group and create communication barriers.
Because of this, autistic people would typically have a trouble with developing friendships and cooperating with others.
As part of their development, healthy children would usually imitate the behaviors of others and then share their thoughts and observations. Autistic children often don’t do that. They also don’t try to connect with others in social settings the way other children do.
Regardless of all these challenges, children with autism still have a desire to communicate and interact with others. The way to go about it is to give children with autism direct instructions when other children would probably pick up things by just observing what is happening.
Even children with mild autism who don’t have any language development issues may find it hard to create friendships because they don’t always understand social interactions and motivations of others. Social awkwardness may occur even with children who have extremely high IQs and who grow up to be very intelligent adults who can play games such as chess, backgammon or even play blackjack online or with their friends.
Such children would usually have a lacking understanding of which behaviors and appropriate and which are not. Others may perceive them as being very upfront, radically honest and lacking guile and flattery. These children usually also have a problem with describing how they feel because they do not have an extensive vocabulary about emotions.