Social Skills Programs for Autistic Children and its Training Techniques
Children with Autism have limited social skills, but it doesn’t mean they are destined to live like this for the rest of their lives. Parents of autistic children are always worried about their children. But they don’t need to worry as there is a way to improve the social skills of autistic children.
Have you ever heard about applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy? If not, you need to know about this therapy, as this therapy is considered the ideal treatment for autism. It is basically social skills training for autism. Building up social skills in autistic children enhances community participation. Community participation further helps in building friendships and ultimately creates happiness.
What are Social Skills?
Social skills are nothing but the general rules or customs that guide one’s interaction with other people. Usually, people learn social skills the same way they learn language skills, i.e., naturally. For example, newborns tend to pick up the language spoken around them without being taught. Also, they learn behavior skills from the people around them and start behaving like them.
It is not the same with autistic children. For them, it can be harder to learn and build up social skills naturally. They need to be trained in social skills to let them know how to behave with other people.
Social skills development for children with autism involves:
Support for increasing communication through community participation
Building up cognitive and language skills
Creating environments that result in friendships and happiness
Teaching to focus on timing and attention
Where can Autistic Children Learn Social Skills?
For autistic children, there are so many social skills to learn and to help them out; there are ABA therapy centers that provide training in social skills. You can enroll your child in a social skills program at an ABA training center such as CARE which strives to help children with developmental delays through individually designed programs.
CARE offers center-based social skills programs to train autistic children on social skills. You can choose a center-based skills program to get maximum benefit, as this program gives your child a chance to interact with new people. The social skills programs help your children learn social skills and behave like other children of their age.
The ABA therapy centers use different techniques to train your child on social skills. Let’s discuss the common social skills training techniques:
Use of Written Material
Some ABA therapy centers use written material such as comic strips. Comic strips have images that can attract children’s attention. These are easy to process and understand.
Group sessions are important as these help children learn how to socialize. There is a trained facilitator who helps every child in the group by providing them with tasks involving interaction with other children.
In this method, children are shown videos of social interaction, and after watching the videos, children are told to perform the learned skills right away. It will help in knowing how much they learn from the videos.
Role-playing is the most common technique ABA therapy centers use to help autistic children learn about expected behavior. The trainer or the therapist prepares your child to deal with a hypothetical situation through role-playing.
Parents need to support their children during a social skills program as their support works best than anything else.