Children on the autism spectrum take longer than other children to adapt and learn social skills. This is due to different kinds of reasons such as sensory issues or late conversational skills, however, it is not impossible to teach your child social skills and how to get along with other children.
Social Skills In Autism
We understand that sensory sensitivity issues can be challenging for children when it comes to socializing and playing with other children, however, it is possible for them to learn other basic skills that can help them get along with others, some of the most basic skills are:
- Emotional Skills: Learning to control his/her emotions.
- Conversation-Language Skills: Learning what body language to use and what to talk about.
- Play Skills: Learning to share and take turns.
- Solving Skills: Learning to make decisions and dealing with conflict.
While it can take time for a child on the spectrum to learn these, but with a little patience and the following tips it is possible and the results are extremely worth it.
Strategies For Developing Social Skills In Autism
1.- Play Practicing: Play with your child and practice getting into different roles, playing to take care of a teddy is a great way to start. Teach your child to feed the teddy, put it to sleep, and even hug it. These kinds of play roles will help him/her learn how to take care of others while practicing how to play.
Playing Simon Says, or even card games are great ways to help your child learn the importance of taking turns and coping with losing. Playing games with specific rules like UNO is also really helpful when it comes to learning to follow specific rules.
2.- Practice Conversation: Many times, as parents, we get really focused on our roles and we forget to speak to our children on a level that they can understand and relate to. A great way to help your child practice conversation is taking interest in things that are important to them. For instance, if you watch an episode of their favorite cartoon, ask them about their favorite part, or their favorite character, or even memorize a song with them. As simple as it might sound this can be really helpful for them, for it enhances conversation about their topics of interest and enables them to stretch their vocabulary.
3.- The 5 Point Scale + The Angry Rules: A common challenge for ASD children is managing their emotions. The 5 point Scale and The Angry Rules are great ways to help your child learn to manage their emotions while practicing conversation when learning to name them.
The 5 point scale teaches them how to define their emotions with numbers, which is the key to their emotional development and social integration. By using the 5 point scale they will learn to identify and name their emotions in a healthy way.
The Angry Rules is great to teach your child how to behave even when they are upset, and it can be easy to memorize and to even print in visuals. Not hurting others, Not hurting yourself, and not ruining things, are the foundations of it. These can be really helpful when it comes to playing with other children.
4.- Praise: As simple as it may sound positive words and verbal affirmation can be great while learning to socialize. During infancy, our sense of worth and self-esteem is shaped, so praise and affirmation are key to building confidence, and a healthy self-image. Many times, children with autism display a particular behavior or conduct because they want to be liked and also because they really want to please their parents, so praise becomes really effective to show them that they are succeeding.
Give your child positive words every time he/she takes a turn or any time they share a toy. Celebrate with them every milestone and accomplishment and teach them the importance of finding joy in the little things. Remember, praise is not for perfection, but praise is for progress, so celebrate with them each step of the way.
At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with stem cell therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation and improving overall brain functioning. Contact us and join an autistic community of support and companionship. Remember, you are not alone!