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Social Skills for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder

No matter what end of the spectrum kids with ASD are on, they always have difficulty in at least one area of socializing. Kids on the Asperger’s end of the spectrum often relate better with adults than with their peers but typically there are still some tell-tale signs of difficulty in social settings.

These are some of the areas we work on when focusing on social skills of children.

  • Conversation reciprocation: This can include initiating conversation, asking follow-up questions, offering follow-up comments, and taking turns.
  • Expressing wants and needs: Using appropriate tone and language to express their needs. Reduce yelling and inappropriate behaviors and increase self-awareness when needs are not being met and ways to express those needs in an effective way.
  • Using appropriate body language and nonverbal language: Using nonverbal language that is inappropriate can often make children unapproachable. Increasing smiling and eye contact can help their peers feel more comfortable in a conversation.
  • Entering and leaving a conversation: Entering or leaving a conversation in an easy, relaxed manner is often very difficult for children with ASD. Letting a person know that you are finished with the conversation by saying something like “see you later” instead of just walking away is often a learned skill for kids with ASD.

Teaching social skills to kids seems counterintuitive but for kids with ASD it is often necessary. Everyday I see children in my practice who want to have friends and who ask me how to make and keep friends. Teaching them how to make others comfortable in social situations is the key to their success in friendship.

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About Express Yourself SLP

Express Yourself Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) offers treatment, prevention, advocacy, education, and administration, in the areas of communication and swallowing from birth through 18 years of age These are the areas of speech, language and feeding I work on with chidlren in their own homes or in the community: Articulation – finding the right place in the mouth to make a sound like /s/ or /r/. Expressive Language – grammar, vocabulary development, and language development (this might be sign language or verbal language) Disfluency (stuttering) – decreasing and eliminating disfluency and concomitant behaviors associated with stuttering. Feeding – increasing food repetoire including textures, colors, and flavors. Receptive Language - comprehension of verbal or signed language Social Language – understanding and implementing expected social rules in play and conversation. This can be individually or in groups with peers Sessions are 50 minutes. Parents or caregivers must be present when sessions are in the home. If the caregiver would like a community outting, the child must be driven to the desired location by a caregiver or it should be within walking distance of the home. Parents or caregivers are also welcome and encouraged to join in community outtings.

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