The social difficulties observed in congenital prosopagnosia are apparent from very early in life, since children use faces to recognize their parents/caregivers and interact with them. Later, when children go to school, normal face recognition is important for making friends and developing social skills. As people mature, face recognition plays a role in finding partners, building careers, and maintaining other social relationships. Thus, the ability of recognising faces accompanies us throughout our lives. If it is disrupted for some reason, it affects our whole lives. Dalrymple et al. interviewed eight children diagnosed with developmental prosopagnosia and their parents; analyzing these interviews revealed that both the children and their parents categorize their experiences about prosopagnosia into three similar categories. The childrens’ first category is awareness of their problem, second is the use of different coping strategies, and the third is describing their (mostly negative) social experiences that derive from their condition. Parallel to these categories, the parents also mentioned three main topics: 1) “I wish I could understand”, 2) “I would like to help my child to cope with this” 3) “It’s difficult to know that my child is struggling”. Throughout these interviews, they talked about their stories and experiences with this condition, which highlight the emotional, psychological and social difficulties caused by prosopagnosia. For example, one of the parents told in the interviews that her son only had one friend at school; since with one exception everyone was white in his class, his only friend was the Indian boy, whom he could distinguish from the others (Dalrymple, és mtsai., 2014).
A case study presented a boy and his mother, who were both diagnosed with congenital prosopagnosia. Four main topics emerged from the interviews: 1) academic/career, 2) personal safety, 3) interpersonal relationships, 4) developing coping strategies. For example, the mother often chooses jobs where she does not have to interact face-to-face with customers, and the boy often has problems at school, recognising his classmates or teachers. Safety is also an issue: crowded areas are especially problematic, if they become separated, they have difficulty finding each other. Prearranged meeting places are therefore a must. However, it is in the social situations where prosopagnosia has had the greatest impact on their lives: their circle of friends is severely limited, consisting of only few people, since making friends is easy, but recognizing them later is a great challenge for them. This is especially difficult for an adolescent boy, who is often labeled unfriendly and ostracized by others for his avoidant behavior. To overcome these difficulties, they both have developed different coping strategies. Hair style, clothing, gait, voice, and the location of meeting are key factors in recognising people. Small group conversations are preferred over individual, face-to-face interactions because these allow them to listen and participate without needing to identify any specific individual by their names. Both use the Internet extensively for much of their socializing, as the person with whom they are interacting can be identified through their name or e-mail address. These situations exemplify the wide variety of social difficulties caused by prosopagnosia, which can have an impact on both the carrier and social opportunities of affected people. Earlier diagnosis, and more importantly, increasing awareness in their environment and developing appropriate strategies can enhance the quality of life for these persons. Facilitating this process is an important objective for professionals (psychologists, teachers, school staff etc.) (Diaz, 2008).