Kids need healthy social skills to learn how to interact with each other, forge meaningful relationships, and learn new and positive things that they might not learn from school or home. The difficult part with any child is teaching them how to be sociable without allowing them to think that telling family secrets is a good thing to do. Parents want to develop a healthy social balance with their children, and there are ways to help individuals with autism to create the social skills they need to enjoy life.
Parents want to teach their children to say please and thank you when appropriate, and refer to adults as ma’am or sir. Children should also learn how to properly get in line for things like lunch and outdoor activities, and they should be taught to hold the door for others as well. Remember that children learn by example, so parents will want to set good examples when it comes to teaching manners.
While teaching social skills is great, forcing your child into situations where they will be uncomfortable can be counter-productive. Parents need to keep a close eye on their children and become familiar with what types of situations their child would be comfortable with. Every once in a while, put your child in a situation that is slightly above their current level to see how they react.
For example, if your child likes to play with blocks alone, then try to get them to play blocks with other children. As your child becomes comfortable with each situation, you can move them up to the next level.
Agreeing And Disagreeing
Teach your child that agreeing and disagreeing with others is normal, but there needs to be a level of respect between two people in a conversation. When you talk to your child, avoid allowing moments of disagreement to become full-blown arguments. Once again, parents showing restraint when their child disagrees with them can be a great example for the child to follow.
It is critically important that you teach your child the fundamentals of sharing and to respect other people’s property. When you interact with your child, ask them to trade their favorite toy for something you have. This idea of bartering will help your child to understand sharing, and how to be an equal part of social situations.
Smiling And Being Polite
Teaching good social skills all starts with showing your child the benefits of smiling at people and being polite. While you are teaching your child manners, you can also take them out into social situations where you smile at others and offer a simple greeting. When your child sees other people responding with a smile, they will be inspired to try it themselves.
Parents need to be patient and good role models for their children when it comes to teaching social skills. Start your child at a very basic level where they interact with you or learn to play on their own, and then slowly move them up to situations that involve other people. It takes time, but experience is always the best teacher.
Eden II Programs helps the autism community by providing programs and services combined with lifespan support to improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families. Eden II has the greatest ability to help individuals with ASD reach their highest potential for independent, self-sustained living through high-quality ABA services, educational programs, adult day programs, group residential care, family support, respite, and a number of other services. Eden II Programs uses the evidence-based practices of ABA to develop skills, promote independence, and change lives for the better.
For information on programs and services available at Eden II, please visit us online at eden2.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.