Finally, autistic people may not always value socialising as much as others. Children in particular may react strangely to things like birthday parties and Christmas gatherings of family, finding the changes to normal routine, the comings and goings and the surprise of presents overwhelming. Yet autistic people can still experience loneliness. It should not be assumed that they want to be left alone, but they may need help to socialise, and also ‘recovery time’ from socialising, since constantly trying to work out the meaning of what others say and do can be exhausting and stressful.
For further discussion of social and communication characteristics in autism, see Roth et al. (2010), chapter 3.