Teaching social skills to an autistic child means first identifying where the child is falling behind on social skill development. With a list of social skills for autism, it becomes possible to provide social skills therapy activities to a child who is struggling with their peers because they don't have the conflict resolution or emotional capabilities of their peers. Autism and social interaction problems frequently a combination and a therapist trained in social skill interventions for autism can help your child grow in their abilities. Here, we will review four key social skills for children with autism.
Emotional Perception and Regulation
Trying to understand another persons’ feelings can oftentimes be a challenge for an autistic child and might be one of the reasons they’re having difficulty communicating and connecting with their peers. A child with autism may not understand why someone is crying, or even why they themselves are upset. With social skill interventions for autism, your child's therapist will develop strategies for your child to recognize emotions and regulate their response to stressful situations. This takes time, but with consistency, your child will learn tools to regulate their emotional responses.
Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflict resolution skills can be difficult for many people. For a child with autism, this can be especially difficult but learning how to resolve conflict is key to improving peer relationships. Like with any child, the process of learning conflict resolution develops over time. Your child's therapist will help your child identify the conflict, and name solutions that could lead to a better outcome. This can be very simple at first --your child may identify that they want to use the red piece during a game, but a peer already has chosen the red piece. It's a small conflict, but one that can feel very large and overwhelming to your child -- especially a child with autism. A step-by-step approach will help your child learn what conflict is and how to better manage interactions, without escalating the situation.
Having a therapist work with your child to address and strengthen their problem-solving skills can greatly help their ability to get along better with their peers. Problem-solving skills can be complicated because they require social cue decoding, emotional perception, and conflict resolution skills all in one; but your child can learn to solve problems as they become more aware of social cues and the reactions of those that they are interacting with.
Social Cue Decoding
Children with autism may appear awkward. For example, it may seem like they aren't really sure how to act around their peers. This is because it can be hard for a child with autism to read social cues, which is something that can make it harder to fit in. A therapist will work with your child on facial expressions, emotions and discuss social situations to help your child better understand what social cues are. When a child with autism can learn social cues, they become more able to fit in and less likely to struggle with social interactions. Learning to read body language, understand tone of voice and personal boundaries will also help your child improve their social skills. At Infinite Therapy Solutions, we understand that your child with autism needs instruction in social skills as well as therapy activities in order to thrive. When your child works with a therapist either in the home or in one of our clinics, they will get the attention they need to:
learn better-coping skills
establish conflict resolution strategies
become better at regulating emotions
learn how to read the emotions of others Image
Infinite Therapy is hosting Socially Savvy! Socially Savvy is a didactic learning program for high-functioning children with ASD, ADHD, and other diagnoses. This social skills group, run by a licensed Behavior Analyst, is more than just a communications class; it also includes input from different types of therapies and encourages movement and interaction to further your child’s development. Read more and sign up for the event here.