People with autism usually have problems with their social skills because they have a unique social approach that’s innate to them. However, this doesn’t mean that the type of behavior they choose to have is the most-accepted behavior in a rigid society like ours.
5 Strategies for Social Skills in kids with Autism
So, how can an autistic person improve their social skills? Here are a few strategies that will help many individuals who are on the spectrum to feel more confident and at ease whenever they have to take part in social interaction:
Get a pet
Many people with autism will love to have a pet because they will automatically develop a bond with them. Thus, they will need to interact socially with them by introducing themselves or asking questions about where they came from or how they got there.
They will also display more empathy as time goes by because they will need to understand the cues that the pet gives to them. Are they hungry? Thirsty?. They will need to help the pet get what they need, and they will possibly start showing affection to the new pet.
Be wise with the use of technology
Technology is everywhere nowadays, and how a person communicates is also changing constantly. So, it was bound to happen that communication and technology would come together to create software, apps, and whatnot, that will allow users to communicate thoroughly.
Sometimes these apps offer free or paid exercises where people with autism can practice their speech, motor skills, and even vision-related skills.
Mobiles, tablets, or computers should be there whenever individuals are trying to reinforce some social skills, mainly if they are used in a stress-free environment where people with autism feel safe.
Reinforce positive behavior
If a person with autism has struggled most of their life to learn a social skill, and after a lot of dedication and hard work, they are now starting to improve, then they should be appraised by those who surround them.
Any interaction that shows signs of behavior that is slowly but surely improving should be validated. It will be up to you to decide whether you would like to set up a reinforcement each time that behavior is replicated or not.
Social skills and therapy
Parents want what’s best for their children no matter how old they may be. If someone close to you has autism and they are not improving their social skills, then you should consider going to a specialist and seek help.
Going to therapy doesn’t mean you have been defeated. On the contrary, this means that your journey has just begun!.
Observation is key
Go out and observe how people behave. Perhaps go to a park and eat ice cream and be there, conscious of how everyone is acting.
Explaining social behaviors
Once you start observing how people behave, you could also begin to explain why they are acting a certain way.
So, you see a child crying because they couldn’t get on on their bikes? Put it into words and explain it to your autistic child, friend, or a loved one; this way, they will be able to understand as well.
Do some role play
Role play gives individuals the ability to ‘’forget’’ about themselves for a moment, but, on the other hand, it also invites them to express themselves without the self-imposed boundaries of their personality or self-esteem.
Role play can be enjoyable, and it will give individuals with autism the opportunity to explore other feelings that perhaps they wouldn’t allow themselves to navigate.