As a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you want to do everything you can to support your child. Children with autism spectrum disorder can struggle in social situations, as the inability or difficulty to read nonverbal cues can make everyday interactions trying. While many individuals take the ability to effortlessly communicate with others for granted, an individual with autism spectrum disorder will need to spend time working on certain social skills. To support your child with their social skills work, there are several small things you can do at home to help.
Ascend Autism provides a number of autism treatment program options for children with ASD, including social skills work. Reach out to our team at (877) 323-8668 to find out how we partner with parents to improve social skills for the children in our care and implement some of the following strategies in your child’s everyday life to help them as well.
How to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills
Many people don’t think about how they learned social skills. They likely learned how to read nonverbal cues from an early age, taking into account their context, the moods of others, and body language. However, for children with ASD, these skills might not come naturally. This does not mean that children with ASD do not want to connect with others—in fact, they likely want to form friendships but are concerned that they lack the necessary skills. Some of the social skills work you might work on with your child include:
- Making frequent conversation
- Interpreting and managing emotions and then describing those emotions
- Solving problems
- Playing with others
To help your child develop these skills, the simplest things you can do are to model and practice.
Working on Social Skills at Home
Modeling social skills involves showing your child what these skills look like. You might model conversations between several people, games being played, or problems being solved. Videos can be helpful tools, as you can pause them and discuss what is happening with your child.
Practicing these skills can be as simple as working on taking turns when playing a game, which is an essential social skill for children. You can reinforce positive behaviors, such as when your child waits for their turn in a game, through praise and other forms of positive reinforcement
Social skills work can be reinforced throughout the day. You can read books together that depict characters solving problems and working together with others. Before new situations, like going to a new school or visiting a new doctor, you can model for them what the situation will be like and practice behaviors together.
Finally, one of the best things that a parent can do to improve social skills is to work closely with their child’s therapists and teachers. Reinforcing what they are learning at school and in treatment can help greatly in their social skills work.
Social Skills Programs at Ascend Autism
While the things you do at home are important in helping your child improve their social skills, help from an ABA therapy provider is an invaluable resource in promoting positive outcomes.
Serving families throughout New England and New York, Ascend Autism is committed to helping the community. Whether your child has just received an ASD diagnosis or you are looking for a targeted intervention program, Ascend Autism can help. Our programs are based on Applied Behavior Analysis and feature social skills group training, parental education, and school consultations. We offer early intervention programs for children ages 18 months to five years old and a targeted intervention program for school-aged children, adolescents and young adults,
Reach out to the Ascend Autism team today. We’ll tell you more about our social skills program as well as how Applied Behavior Analysis can help your child succeed. Contact us to set up a consultation.