When thinking of autism spectrum disorder, it’s helpful to think of it as a difference in communication and not intelligence. Social interaction for children with autism can be challenging, but there are ways to help your child communicate effectively. Our social skills group program can help your child thrive. Rising Above ABA today at 888.572.7473 to learn more.
How Social Skills Therapy Helps Children with Autism
Understanding the differences surrounding social norms will clear up unnecessary confusion for your child. Social skills therapy can teach your child that talking to their grandma, their best friend, or a stranger all require different types of communication. Children can learn to recognize the subtle differences in social expectations regarding communication, self-expression, and personal boundaries. In neurotypical interactions, you wouldn’t treat a stranger rudely just because you don’t know them, but you won’t necessarily open your door to them. Conversely, when a grandparent comes to visit, you wouldn’t ignore them just because you haven’t seen them in a while. Children with autism can often be perceived as blunt or rude by others, harming their ability to form relationships. Children can learn that while some people hold a trusted spot in their lives and others must earn trust, there is also a general unspoken expectation of basic respect in social interactions.
Social skills therapy can be valuable for overall success, although autism isn’t considered a disorder to fix. Learning and honing social skills helps all children know how to act according to different social situations, whether they have autism or not. Social skills can help your child in various ways that they can carry into adulthood. Teaching children with autism these practical skills can keep them safe and improve their friendships.
What Skills Do Children with Autism Work On in Therapy?
Building upon social skills is essential when treating autism. Since ASD is primarily a difference in social skills and communication, enhancing these skills will often lead to a much higher quality of life. Developing social skills helps children make friends, facilitates more stress-free learning, and allows them to develop fulfilling hobbies and interests. These skills can also help with your family bond and give your child a sense of comfort and belonging they might be craving due to frequent miscommunications.
Social skills for children include:
- Play skills – Learning to share their toys, take turns, and pay attention when other children are talking about their ideas
- Communication skills – Choosing what is appropriate to talk about and with whom or accurately reading facial cues and body language cues in conversations
- Emotional skills – Expressing your needs and emotions and understanding how others around you may feel
- Problem-solving skills – Deciding on a practical solution during a conflict or asking for help when searching for something you can’t locate
Over time and with practice, children with autism can get better at these skills and need less repetition to incorporate them into their daily routines. Just a few examples of strategies that can help you build your child’s social skills are:
- Visual support
- Practice conversations
- Practice play
- Positive praise
- Social stories
- Video modeling
Play that incorporates building up social skills can give your child the confidence they need to succeed in work and play in the future. When you and your child play together, it gives your child the chance to practice taking turns, following the rules of a game, and many other valuable skills. It also strengthens your emotional bond.
Enhance Your Child’s Social Interaction at Rising Above ABA
One of the main focuses of our treatment programs is building up social skills and confidence to foster productive communication for children. At Rising Above ABA, we can help your child—and your whole family—thrive. Contact us at 888.572.7473 or reach out online to get started.