It is necessary to help children, whether autistic or not, develop their social skills. However, autistic children take a little longer than their normal peers to learn to socialize.
Effective strategies such as video modeling and role plays are seen to help children develop the necessary socializing skills.
These skills help children strike new friendships which in turn leads them towards prosperous lives.
Having the right skills will make our children ready to adjust to day-to-day situations.
Whether it is chatting with grandparents or playing with school-mates, social-skills play a critical role in molding an individual towards a fruitful tomorrow.
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Social skills are not only helpful in making new friends, they help children learn by observing and develop new interests and hobbies. Further, they are seen to improve family relationships while the child benefits from an inner-sense of belonging.
Thus having decent skill-sets will help in improving the overall quality and the mental health of an individual’s life.
Conversation skills help children learn what to talk about. These skills further help children to understand how they can build conversation while helping them understand the appropriate body languages that need to be used for different situations.
Understanding and managing emotions are critical for an individual’s personal success. Having the child learn how to manage their emotional skills helps them to better integrate with their social circles.
It is important to help children understand the art of taking turns while playing games with their peers. Sharing skills can also be combined with play skills by teaching the child how to share their toys with their other young friends.
Helping the child to effectively understand and deal with conflicts can have major perks as they progress into adulthood.
It is never easy for autistic children to learn social skills first-hand. However, one can use the different strategies explained below to help children develop the necessary skills.
To start with, one needs to practice playing with toys by enacting different scenes. For instance, you can try starting with hugging your child’s favorite teddy, followed by feeding it and gradually putting it to sleep.
Next, you could enact a tea-party with teddies or create a unique story by using different play sets.
These skills will eventually lead the child in developing broader skills as you progress.
Role-playing can help children learn and develop the necessary skills that he/she might need to play along with others.
For instance, before your child has his friend come home to play you could
Role-playing, when effectively practiced can help the child to develop problem-solving skills.
For example, after they complete playing you can have one-cake for two friends. You can gradually help the child to understand; a cake can be cut into two to be shared among both which in-turn solves the problem.
Another useful trick is to have different socializing training videos in your kitty. Help the child understand how the characters in the video are practicing the skills.
Have the video paused, and ask them probing questions. For instance, whose turn is next in the video?
These skills are seen to help children learn, how to be comfortable while in difficult/new social situations.
For instance, if you find your child has an apprehension during his/her hairdressing time, you can practice by videoing the building, which helps the child understand what to expect when he/she arrives.
Child psychiatrist and counselor, Maria says, “Teaching social skills to students with autism to increase peer interactions pays large dividends in the long run.”
What other strategies do you believe can be practiced while training children? Feel free to pour in your suggestions in the comment box below.