Sunday, November 8, 2009

Social Skills Training for Children with Autism Part 2

Social Skills Training for Children With Autism

Once again it is up to parents to implement social skills training for children with autism. In the first part of this series we learned the three stages of acquiring some level of friendships. In this part of the series we will look at a term called Social Accounting.

Social Accounting is done by typical adults on an unconscious basis. Because children with autism do not pick up the social skills naturally we have to in some way quantify what many of us do automatically. Some of us even employ Social Accounting openly. We all know the office person who has a list of who contributes to parties and birthdays and who does not. Ideally there should be four steps in the Social Accounting process for children with autism.

The first step is to give free chances to every new child our child is trying to get the attention of. The thoughtful process is to give that child a certain amount of time say two weeks or a month to get to know our child. During this time we need to talk to our child about giving the other child free chances to try to get to know them. Your child should ignore gossip. In the process of getting to know your child other children are going to say or do things your child might assume is hurtful. During this free chances stage your child will assume these things are a mistake or a misunderstanding.

The next step is for your child to help the child in question in some way. An alternative is for your child to give the child in question something such as a small toy or snack.

Third you want your child to start using one of the two or three skills they have developed to start carving out a place among the other children. Teach your child to use their skill to make the others happy.

Finally your child with autism must not worry about the other children giving him favors. At this point your child will be a ‘good will ambassador’ to other children. Your child also needs to be careful to spread his help around evenly to other children. You and your child need to look for skills they are so proficient in that it will not take your child a lot of time to help. The goal is to make progress in your social skills training. .

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