“Children with ASD can grow beyond their limitations and develop into wonderful, productive citizens. All we have to do is see through those limitations to the bright kids they really are, helping them past their difficulties without allowing them to be labeled and restricted by their diagnoses.” ― Karina Poirier, Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism
Deficits in the area of socialization are among the conditions which define autism spectrum disorder. Some examples of social skills deficits are making eye contact, initiating a conversation, and understanding non-verbal communication such as facial expressions.
Modeling social behaviors and talking about different “social rules” helps provide an individual diagnosed with autism, the means of how to engage in their environment, or question the rational behind the actions. It also provides them with the opportunity to say what aspects of the social behaviors that they are uncomfortable with. Without an understanding of social behavior and ability to engage in appropriate social behaviors, chances of low esteem are higher due to potential bullying and self-isolation.
The various types of social skills trainings available are:
· Peer Models. By this mean, trained peers interact with children with ASD that encourages development of social skills with time, in a classroom setting where it is monitored by the appropriate trained professionals.
· Social skills groups. Very small groups of in which the child learns about social skills in classroom settings. Neurotypical peers at times may join the group to model different social behaviors such as initiating conversation or turn taking.
· Video modeling. Videos are shown with specific skills and scenarios being demonstrated followed by practicing of those skills by the children
· Picture Based Stories. Pictorial story books depicting sequences of social skills are another great way to teach children about various types of social skills.
Some examples of topics for social skills are:
· Introductions to a new person
· Nonverbal communication
· Initiating & ending Conversation
· Making friends
It is highly recommended that social skills’ training is integrated in any intervention or therapeutic approach. Contact us today at Caliber Autism Care today to discuss how we teach social skills.