I have a few issues with this example. First if the mother had said “answer the door” instead of “open the door” the request would have contained more information about what was required. The issue might not be context blindness; it could be mono-tropism – the ability to only attend to one stream of incoming information at a time, and the attendant difficulty in knowing which bits of sensory information to pay attention to. Dr Vermeulens solution is the same as mine he just calls this “pushing the context button” whereas I would say “be clear and concrete” .
However Dr Vermeulen recommends using Social Stories™, which are stories about specific situations which are popular and supposed to teach social skills (although research[i] suggests that this is ineffective). However it is not explained how these stories would address context blindness, in fact the criticism of them is that they do not address the context driven need for flexibility that is at the heart of meaningful social communication.
I am always puzzled why there seems to be this desire to attribute autism to a single cause (although I consider context blindness as a concept to be a symptom and not a cause) – it reminds me of the nature/nurture debate before it was realised that actually it is not nature or nurture but the way the two interact that impacts how an individuals' development unfolds.
[i] A meta-analysis of 62 studies was conducted to determine the efficacy of the intervention. Overall, Social Stories appear to have only a small clinical effect on behaviour.
Reynhout G., Carter M.(2011). Evaluation of the efficacy of Social Stories™ using three single subject metrics. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 5(2), pp. 885-900. Read Abstract http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2010.10.003