Summertime is here and that’s a great reason to get social. For children with autism spectrum this might be a challenge that requires creative problem-solving. No fear, We’ve compiled a list of activities to get your kiddo on the road to growing social roots.
So what’s the big deal? Why should we encourage social skills within children and adolescents who have autism spectrum? They could live a life on their own little and be perfectly content. However fostering friendships and encouraging social development can increase your child’s positive experiences.
Here are some activities to consider when teaching your loved one the art of building social skills:
Conversational Volleying: This exercise consists of working on back and forth conversations skills between peers. It is encouraged to begin 1:1 even with an adult or familiar person first to practice, then progress to another child, and then progress to 3 children in the group. Something helpful is to place conversation starters in a hidden box, so that they don’t know what will be discussed and the conversation topic won’t be on their interest only. Be sure to watch out for your child moving the conversation to their preferred topic. It may also be helpful to tie some prize or reinforcement to the activity so that they better they do, the more they earn.
Hidden Curriculum: Hidden curriculum deals with teaching individuals about unspoken social rules or cues. For example, a child with Autism might not understand that he can’t keep talking about the same topic for long periods of time or that people are ready to move onto something else. Hidden curriculum outlines the dos and don’ts of navigating in certain social situations. It is helpful to practice these within natural occurring situations. For example, playing what are they thinking and what are they going to do next game.
Along with the above listed tools ABA Telehealth can play a huge role in helping your child become more fluent in their social development.
Traditionally a difficult area for those on the autism spectrum, social skills encompasses a vast variety of complex and advanced integrated abilities including language. On our team of nationally certified RBT's and/or BCBAs, we have several staff who specialize in this area. They offer these services convenient to your child after school or at more convenient times including Saturday appointments. We build the skills on a 1:1 basis first then progress to a 1:2 with a similar peer and then we gradually increase the group size.