Context involves the setting or environment surrounding a situation. People with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism are very interested in details while their deficits result in the inability to take context into consideration. This inability is noticeable in social situations as well as in their written work and verbal expression.
People with AS perform quite well on standardized tests. The dissonance between test taking abilities and real life situations often has puzzled many professionals. How we formulate treatment plans comes mainly from research; and so far research alone does not give an accurate representation of real life situation and reactions. For example, a test setting is an artificial controlled environment, whereas, real life situations take place in a natural, spontaneous environment. In real life, there is little time to think and reactions are for the most part are context driven.
Typically developing people are sensitive to the context of their environment, and this allows them to know how to act based on the circumstances. For example, it is easy for neurotypical people to know what to say and do when meeting someone they know on a street, something that would be a problem for individuals on the autism spectrum. Recognizing, understanding and interacting with the environment is a pertinent skill for adapting to each new situation. Instructing people with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism on how to be sensitive to context is challenging, and family and therapist,
Instructing people with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism in being sensitive to context is challenging, and requires that family, therapist, teachers and other providers must work closely together for the best possible outcomes.
For more information here is the reference used for writing this blog.
Vermeulen, P. (2011, November). A Division of Future Horizons, Inc. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://autismdigest.com/context-blindness
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