This article was inspired by a comment I saw on the girl with the curly hair Facebook page. Somebody had commented on a post of mine, which talked about people with ASD having impaired social imagination. The person said she “had lots of imagination.” This intrigued me. Then I understood that people are often misunderstood by the differences between social imagination and imagination.
Funny enough, people on the spectrum can be incredible artists, musicians, writers, story tellers, game makers, etc. So why is it that the diagnostic criteria states that people with ASD have problems with ‘social imagination.’ Well, this is where the two terms must be differentiated and discussed. This is very important information to know! Imagination, in the conventional definition, is about forming ideas, pictures or concepts inside our heads. Lots of people, neurotypical or autistic, can imagine things. This is why, generally, human beings get enjoyment from watching films, reading books or drawing things. They can connect what they are looking at or doing, with the concepts inside their head.