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Autism and understanding social situations

Autistic people can find social situations challenging.

Take a look at this animation which explores tips you can use to help you understand situations and conversations more easily, and how to get further support if you’re struggling.

Click here to view a transcript of this video


  • Don’t just listen to what people say but listen to how they say it. Use social cues like their face or body language to work out how they feel.
  • Sarcasm can be especially hard to understand. Listening out for changes in tone of voice and watching how people act when they speak can help you understand what they mean.
  • If you don’t like looking at people’s faces while talking then it can be difficult to spot social cues. You may find that talking to only one person at a time is easier.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand and ask your friends to use precise language when talking to you.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively, you can always contact your school nurse.

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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