Being able to communicate with others is a significant part of the human experience, which is why it is such an essential skill for children to develop. For children on the autism spectrum, navigating social situations can be challenging, so social skills training is a common goal of many ABA therapists. Talk to your child’s therapist about implementing ABA techniques at home to help your child improve their social skills. Let’s go over how ABA therapy helps with social skills for children with autism.
The Importance of Social Skills
Social skills are the rules and expectations that serve as a guide for our interactions with others. Generally, children pick up on social skills by observing and imitating others. However, children on the autism spectrum may have a more challenging time building up their social skills and feeling comfortable in social settings. When children struggle with these skills, they can become easily frustrated, leading to undesirable behaviors and social isolation. Furthermore, all children need healthy friendships for their emotional wellbeing.
What is ABA Therapy?
ABA therapy is an essential tool for a child on the autism spectrum and involves customizing treatment plans fitted to your child’s specific needs. Every child is different; so, every ABA therapy session will be different, based on your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Many people on the autism spectrum often require intervention to develop the social skills needed to interact and socialize, making ABA an excellent tool for everyone. Some areas of life that can be positively impacted by ABA therapy include:
- Self-care skills
- Home environment
- School environment
- Social skills
ABA Therapy and Social Skills
Working on skills with a therapist ensures a safe environment that will help your child feel less nervous about learning a new skill, and an environment free of distractions will help them focus. For children with autism, it can be difficult to understand social cues, interpret people’s intentions, and process when and how to respond or interact with others in social settings. ABA therapy focuses on specific skills by using techniques, such as parallel play, intrapersonal conversation, role-playing, and games.
Since social skills rely on interaction with others, your child may benefit from group sessions where they can interact with their peers and develop relationships. With proper therapy, children can improve many skills, including:
- Taking turns
- Following directions
- Social communication
- Following rules
- Coping skills
- Appropriate eye contact
- Identifying and understanding social cues
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.