Autistic aloneness refers to a term proposed by Leo Kanner in his description of autistic children, referring to one of the central symptoms of the disorder, namely, the profound separation and disconnection of autistic individuals from other people.

In the psychology context, autistic aloneness refers to a phenomenon in which individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience a sense of social isolation and disconnection from others, even when in social situations. It is often described as feeling "alone in a crowded room."

Here are some examples of how autistic aloneness is experienced by individuals with ASD:

  • Difficulty with social interactions: Individuals with ASD may struggle to understand social cues and conventions, making it difficult for them to engage in social interactions with others. This can lead to a sense of social isolation and a feeling of being different from those around them.

  • Sensory processing differences: Many individuals with ASD have sensory processing differences that can make social situations overwhelming or uncomfortable. For example, loud noises, bright lights, or certain textures may be aversive, making it difficult to engage in social activities with others.

  • Restricted interests: Individuals with ASD may have intense interests in specific topics or activities, which can make it difficult for them to connect with others who do not share those interests. This can lead to a sense of isolation and difficulty finding common ground with others.

  • Communication difficulties: Many individuals with ASD have difficulty with communication, both verbal and nonverbal. This can make it challenging to express themselves or understand others, leading to a sense of disconnection from those around them.

Overall, autistic aloneness is a complex phenomenon that can have a significant impact on the social and emotional well-being of individuals with ASD. By understanding this phenomenon, psychologists and other healthcare professionals can provide appropriate support and interventions to help individuals with ASD navigate social situations and build meaningful connections with others.

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