28 Apr 2022


Barriers to Social and Emotional Development of a Child with Autism

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 1219

Pages: 4

Downloads: 0

Autism has for long been a public health issue. There has been an increase in the number of people diagnosed with autism over the years thus raising concerns in the medical circles. Autism is a mental condition that starts in the early childhood, causing a negative influence on how people view and perceive the world. Since no cure has never been discovered, autism remains a lifelong mental disorder (meaning that it goes into adulthood). An autistic child is confronted with communication difficulties and inability form relationships with peers as well as being unable to use abstract and language concepts. This implies that autism has an adverse influence on the emotional and social development of a child. As such, a child with autism may not adopt certain behavioural elements that fellow peers develop (Jurgens, 2016). These developmental problems in social and emotional development are primarily caused by the child’s failure to develop joint attention skills. Although no single cure has been established to cure the retrogression of joint attention skills; there exist ways of overcoming it. 

Joint attention refers to the ability to use eye contact and be able to share the feeling and views with others (Murza, Schwartz, Hahs-Vaughn, & Nye, 2016). It also implies a person’s tendency to have feelings (develop emotional feelings) towards someone or something. Joint attention is a crucial part of human existence that contributes largely how people interact with others and communicate. Joint attention is an aspect in human beings that facilitates communication and interaction among people by ensuring that one concentrates on a conversation without losing focus. It is also the one responsible for the development of emotional behaviours of people.

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Children who have autism cannot develop joint attention skills due to their mental disability. Autism influences a child’s social development in that they are unable to grow their communication and language skills. Their attention towards something is always divided. For instance, one might be demonstrating something to a child with autism, but the child’s attention is elsewhere. In effect, the child is unable to create the relativity of what they are being taught, making it difficult for them to apply the concepts being taught. In other words, the child is unable to create a link between what they are being shown and what they are being taught.

Moreover, they are also unable to communicate with other people. Most of the individuals who have autism seldom develop functional language skills. They experience difficulties in developing non-verbal skills of communication such as the use of gestures. However, a few children with autism do manage to develop these functional language skills as well as non-verbal ones. They can communicate, but this happens with a lot of difficulties. Their communication is ineffective, a factor that hinders them from sharing their life experiences and perspectives with others. The communication barriers, which is also caused by the degeneration of joint attention, transitions with them to adulthood if no measures are taken. 

Further, the failure to develop joint attention among autistic children hinders the development of emotional feelings. Hooper and Umansky (2014) claim that research in the early 90s indicated that children with autism did not react to individuals who tried to inflict pain on themselves. The researchers further explain that autistic children did not even spend most of their time looking at the injured adults. They also recorded less empathy and concern due to the inability to discern what was happening. This is contrary to normal children who would react to such happenings. They will always look at the hurt individual for some time as well as express empathy towards the injured. Some even go to the extent of crying. 

As earlier stated, autism has no cure; however, an autistic child can develop socially and mentally through several ways. Education approaches can be used in the treatment of children with autism. Autistic children can develop social skills through learning. Teaching them social skills, however, requires a lot of keenness on the side of whoever is taking them through the process. The tutors have to understand what to teach and when to teach. Knowing what to teach implies deriving the problems that the child is seemingly having when it comes to socialization. It also calls for autistic children to interact with places like schools so as to determine their social behaviours. 

The teaching should also focus on building social and peer relationships (Treatment options, 2016). Parents and teachers should allow autistic children to interact with their peers more often. Increased interactions trigger the development of joint attention skills among children with autism for they start to adopt the behaviours of other children. These interactions should be consistent preferably on a daily basis given that autistic children tend to learn something once it has been repeated time and again (Bovey, & Strain, n.d). 

Moreover, the emotional development of children with autism can be bolstered through attachments. Parents need to maintain a close relationship with their autistic children by establishing a mutual feeling that makes the children find value in themselves. Parents should always make time for fun with their children. This can be achieved through playing or going out for walks. Also, parents need to reward them for good behaviours or any improvements that the children make after being taught something. Things like toys and other playing materials can also be good for effecting emotional development in autistic children (Bovey, & Strain, n.d). Toys are good in that the children get attached to them by developing some emotional connection towards the toys (Srinivasan, Eigisti, Neelly, & Bhat, 2016). Parents and teachers should be sensitive to the feelings of such children and approach them in a friendly manner to establish the cause whenever the children are angry. 

Moral development of children with autism is also very significant in their social and emotional development. Parents, teachers, and guardians need to teach such children some morals. Moral development influences how they interact with other children and how they behave while around them. Moreover, it influences their reasoning which is a constitutive element of emotional development. It is through morals that a child will be able to discern what is right or wrong and act upon it in the desired way. 

Significantly, parents, caregivers and teachers need to apply these methods of teaching from a personalized point. What works for one child may not be effective to another child due to the difference in nature of the condition and individual. It is imperative that they analyse a child’s strengths and weaknesses as well as their needs so as to develop effective training and teaching program. Teachers should similarly learn the best ways in which a child learns best and apply them in their training. 

It is, therefore, paramount that teachers, parents, and caregivers have this knowledge concerning children with autism. It will help them in knowing how to handle the children so as to develop their social and emotional skills. They should be aware that the kind of behaviours exhibited by autistic children is as a result of the failure to develop joint attention skills. Significantly, parents should realize that this is just a barrier that can be overcome through training and education. Nevertheless, parents need to realize that their involvement in their children’s lives is imperative in determining the progress of their children. Most parents despair immediately as they presume that their children suffer from a mental breakdown which is not the case. Though without treatment, children with autism can still be molded to become better in their social lives as well as emotionally.


Bovey, T. & Strain, P. (n.d). Using environmental strategies to promote positive social interactions. Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. Retrieved from http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/briefs/wwb6.pdf.

Hooper, S. & Umansky, W. (2008). Young Children with Special Needs . London, England: Pearson. 

Jurgens, A. (2016). How autism spectrum disorder affects learning and development. Raising Children . Retrieved on 25 February 2017, from http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/autism_spectrum_disorder_learning.html/context/1037.

Murza, K. A; Schwartz, J. B; Hahs-Vaughn, D. L. & Nye, C. (2016). Joint attention interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders , 51(3), 236-251.

Srinivasan, S. M; Eigisti, I. M; Neelly, L. & Bhat, A. N. (2016). The effects of embodied rhythm and robotic interventions on the spontaneous and responsive social attention patterns of children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD): A pilot randomized controlled trial. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders , 27, 54-72.

Treatment options. (2016). Autism Society . Retrieved on 25 February 2017, from http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/treatment-options/.

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Barriers to Social and Emotional Development of a Child with Autism.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023

Personal Statement for College

Growing up in the inner city especially as a first-generation African-American is very challenging mainly because of poverty that makes every aspect of life difficult. These are neighborhoods with poor services and...

Words: 926

Pages: 3

Views: 115

17 Sep 2023

Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Lesson Plan for Kindergarten

The objective of this lesson plan is to teach students how to add or interchange individual sounds within one syllable words. The will the students to learn new words and new pronunciations. The use of CVC word...

Words: 329

Pages: 1

Views: 222

17 Sep 2023

Similarities and Differences of Educational Theories

As a philosophy of education, idealism is based on the notion that reality should only be inferred from ideas. People should strive to conceive ideas as the only source of world reality. They must apply conscious...

Words: 1304

Pages: 5

Views: 89

17 Sep 2023

How to Overcome Financial Challenges in Research

Running a school and improving the way it operates requires the availability of resources, prime of which is money. The financing of school budgets in the US varies between school districts and states. The...

Words: 3007

Pages: 10

Views: 57

17 Sep 2023

Suggestopedia Learning Method Analysis

The video is an explanation of the suggestopedia, and this is a learning method that’s used in classrooms, particularly in those ones in which students are taking English as their second language. This method is...

Words: 926

Pages: 3

Views: 61

17 Sep 2023

Behaviorist versus Humanist Philosophical Orientation

Purpose of the philosophical orientation Psychologists and other researchers have for the longest time tried to unearth the behavioral orientations of individuals by integrating numerous approaches. One of the most...

Words: 2558

Pages: 9

Views: 134


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.