Social Isolation

Social isolation is amongst the worst forms of suffering

Social isolation is a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. It differs from loneliness, which reflects a temporary lack of contact with other humans. Social isolation can be an issue for individuals of any age, though symptoms may differ by age group.

Social isolation impacts

According to a study conducted by Cornell University (Cornwell & Waite, 2009): “Health risks associated with social isolation have been compared in magnitude to the well-known dangers of smoking cigarettes and obesity. Individuals who lack social connections or report frequent feelings of loneliness tend to suffer higher rates of morbidity and mortality, as well as infection, depression, and cognitive decline.”

It also impacts cognitive impairment, developmental delays, victimisation/abuse, negative self-worth/ self-harm, increased support costs, hostility toward community and lack of employment, thusly becoming a substantial problem for Australia.

It is critical for children to have access to recreational activities in order to prevent them from becoming socially isolated at an early age and prevent further social problems in later life.

Social isolation and autism

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are described as lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by marked difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours and sensory sensitivities.  Families of children with ASD report difficulties in participating in mainstream social and play activities.

The absence of suitable social and play activities deprives children of opportunities to learn social rules and play activities deprives children of opportunities to learn social rules and appropriate behaviours and put them at risk of social isolation. For this reason, children with ASD are one of Humbles principle beneficiaries.


You can learn more about autism spectrum disorder at Autism Spectrum Australia here.