Recognizing facial affect is essential for effective social functioning. This study examines emotion recognition abilities in children aged 7–13 years with High Functioning Autism (HFA = 19), Social Phobia (SP = 17), or typical development (TD = 21). Findings indicate that all children identified certain emotions more quickly (e.g., happy < anger, disgust, sad < fear) and more accurately (happy) than other emotions (disgust). No evidence was found for negative interpretation biases in children with HFA or SP (i.e., all groups showed similar ability to discriminate neutral from non-neutral facial expressions). However, distinct between-group differences emerged when considering facial expression intensity. Specifically, children with HFA detected mild affective expressions less accurately than TD peers. Behavioral ratings of social effectiveness or social anxiety were uncorrelated with facial affect recognition abilities across children. Findings have implications for social skills treatment programs targeting youth with skill deficits.