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Social Skill Training Exercises for Children with Autism
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Social Skill Training Exercises for Children with Autism

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    For individuals who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, there are some Social Skill Training Exercises for Children available to help by teaching social skills that will help them thrive in their lives.

    There are several child and adolescent psychiatric clinics that perform the duties of teaching social skills which can help individuals with basic social skills within a structured environment.

    What is Social Skill Training Exercises for Children with Autism?

    It is a behavioral therapy that utilizes applied behavior analysis, which can help the teachers or family members, parents, and professionals to help people with anxiety disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, and other disorders in their struggle with developing coping strategies and social interaction skills.

    What is the goal of Social Skill Training Exercises for Children with Autism?

    The main goal or purpose of social skills training (SST) is to help people with developmental disabilities and mental disorders in developing their social skills whereby these social skills programs can teach basic skills to an autistic person, helping in social interactions.

    How can I help my autistic child learn social skills?

    You can teach them by using the social skills training exercises used by the therapists, or by taking them to the therapists. The latter case can help you more as the therapists are professional and can help them better to teach social skills to the children.

    Furthermore, if your child is diagnosed properly and is studying in a school with a specific environment for children with autism, the teachers can also perform the duty to teach social skills to the children with autism.

    Can adults with autism learn social skills?

    The short answer is yes! There are programs available for autistic adults, like  Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills, or PEERS.

    Case study:

    PEERS conducted a study that included 22 participants having autism. They all had no problems with intellectual disability, but all of them had significant difficulties in social situations.

    While asked for their consent, all of these people agreed to take part in the program. Half of them were included in the class, while half of them were put on the waiting list for the analytical purposes of the study conducted by the researchers.

    The group activities conducted in the social skills group taught the participants the efficient way of social interaction through conversation and humor, breaking down skills in small steps, and engagement in social interactions.

    Active participants result:

    At the end of the course, the participants who took the course had shown remarkable improvements in social skills and they performed more social engagements.

    Waiting list participants result:

    When the active participants in the study who took the course were compared with the participants on the waitlist, the former showed significantly better results in their social interaction skills and social responsiveness

    This study indicates that adults with autism can learn social skills with the help of the programs available for social skill training that can bring fruitful results and can also create an interactive autism network.

    Techniques used in Social Skill Training:

    The social skills training generally initiates with the assessment of the social skills deficit and impairments. The professional will initiate the training by asking you about the specific social situations that trigger you the most and need improvement.

    Its goal is to identify the best spot or target in your personality that needs the training for your specific situation.

    Once the target area is defined, the therapist moves on to the next step of identifying the specific techniques used for the improvement of your social skills.

    Usually, therapists prefer to stick to one area at a time, which can help them to ensure that the subject is not getting overwhelmed.

    Therapists pick a particular skill and explain to the target the efficient ways to perform it.

    Carrying out a conversation:

    While explaining the ways to carry out a conversation, your therapist will break it down to the small parts, like:

    • Giving introduction, then

    • Making small talk, and then

    • Carrying on the conversation

    This technique of simplifying a complex task for people with autism spectrum disorders helps them in making conversations and making friends in the long run.

    Some specific techniques for social skill training:

    i) Instruction:

    This is a component of social skills training that involves the education of SST by the modeling of suitable social behaviors

    ii)Simulated rehearsals of behaviors:

    During the therapy, this technique incorporates role-playing, involving the practice of new skills in video modeling or simulated rehearsals of behaviors

    iii) Rewards:

    The subjects who are successful in their improvement in a specific social skill, are rewarded using the positive reinforcement concept that can motivate them to do better.

    iv) Home Assignments:

    The therapists can give weekly home assignments to autistic people which can help them practice social skills improvement exercises outside of the therapy environment and in real-life situations. This in turn can help individuals with an autism spectrum disorder to boost their confidence by learning a new skill in the social concepts.

    v) Corrective Feedback:

    This technique is used to help the individuals in the improvement of social skills by giving them corrective feedback on their performance.

    Can you be autistic and have good social skills?

    It is possible in some cases that an autistic individual is good in social skills.

    These people with autism can learn how to adjust to a neurotypical society and socialize. These people can develop good autistic social skills. People with high functioning autism can have fewer problem behaviors in social skills and social interactions, but the people within the low function autism spectrum lag behind in this area.

    This is due to the fact of basic human nature, i.e. we intend to value more the thing that we lack. This basic instinct is used by people with autism where they try to indulge themselves more in social situations and thereby learn the skills.

    But still, they struggle in their social skills and can take help from the social skill training exercises.

    In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-5), the autism spectrum disorder (classic autism), pervasive developmental disorder, and Asperger syndrome were combined under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorders.

    Training Exercises:

    The training exercises can be used by a qualified practitioner and schools can help the individuals to improve social skills by putting them in multiple settings of social situations, role-playing, video demonstration, and group activities which can help them to cope with the social challenges by putting them in a social situation. This can make a significant difference in their social relationships and improve the social communication of autistic people.

    These social skills interventions and peer-mediated instruction can help the subjects in the improvement of their social skills.

    This in turn can help many children to respond appropriately to social situations, like making friends and developing an interactive autism network. There are several school programs, occupational therapists, behavioral therapists that can help your children in their social skill training.

    What is Autism:

    Autism is a complex and lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that creates difficulties for children where they find it challenging to develop social skills, communication skills, repetitive behaviors, nonverbal communication, developing relationships, and self-regulation.

    Some psychologists define autism as a mental health condition, whereas the majority classify it as a mental disorder rather than a mental health condition.

    Concluding Remarks:

    Finishing our discussion, there are social skills training programs available that can help your child and young adults to develop social skills which can assure them better prospects to thrive in life.

    Everyone deserves to live a healthy and satisfying life and people with autism must take social skill training as a tool to ensure that they live a healthy life and engage in a social skills group to develop better social responsiveness.

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    Hi, I'm Sarah!

    CraftyThinking is all about striving to inspire creativity in children by allowing them to explore their creative side through art and crafts.

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