Autism Aspergers Social Skills Curriculum and Activities
We offer a large selection of autism & Asperger's social skills curriculum and training material. Our helpful books and games are filled with lessons and activities designed for children with autism, Aspergers and PDD-NOS. Start helping the children you work with today build social success. Children with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or PDD-NOS often look like typical kids in many situations. Because they look like typical family members, teachers, and peers can become easily frustrated with them because they don't respond correctly socially.
Unfortunately, children on the autism spectrum rarely meet the social expectations of others. The good news is research has shown that children on the autism spectrum can learn social skills.
Playing with Peers to Develop Social Skills
One of the best ways to learn social skills is to imitate them. When a child on the autism spectrum is talking, sharing, playing and learning with typical peers they are given the chance to learn typical social skills. At home parents can host play dates with classmates and neighbors to provide their child with valuable social practice.Helpful Tips for Hosting a Play Date for Your Child with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome:
Use Social Stories to Learn Social Skills Ahead of Time
- Before the play date come up with a schedule with your child. Decide which games will be played and in what order. Schedule a snack break and decide which snack will be offered. Also include clean up time at the end of the play date this will help the child with autism to transition at the end of the play date. It may be helpful to write this schedule down so the autistic child can check off items on the schedule during the play date.
- If there are toys that are difficult for your child to share put them away before the play date begins. Many children on the autism spectrum have a very strong interest in a particular subject and may develop a strong attachment to a particular item. Initially you may not want to work on sharing this type of item.
- Donít make the play date too long. One to two hours is fine, its best to have social success and leave both children wanting more time together.
- Keep it small one friend at first is best. Remember if you invite more than one child the social interactions will become more complex. It will be harder for the child with autism to engage socially with their peers.
- Choose activities your child enjoys and is competent in. Now is not the time for the autistic child to learn a new game, remember you want them to learn social skills! If your child feels successful there will be less frustration and help with the social skills training.
- Prepare for the end of the play date in advance. No one likes to end a good time! Practice with the autistic child ahead of time how the play date will end. Have a reward or incentive waiting for them after their friend leaves. Did everyone have a good time? Then your social skills training was a success - celebrate it!
- To help your child prepare for the end of the play date give a 10 to 20 minute warning that the play date will end. Remember transitions can be hard for a child with Asperger's Syndrome or autism. You want social success and nothing is worse than a melt down at the end of a play date.
- Observe your child's social behavior during the play date so you can determine what needs to be worked on. Provide assistance as necessary, but try to be a background observer. Remember no one likes to be corrected in front of others. As much as possible work on social skills training after your childís friend has left.
- Establish a relationship with the childís parents. Learning social skills is a process. Your autistic child may make several social mistakes. Thank the parent for allowing their child to tutor yours and assure them that you are working with your child to help them grow socially.
- After the guests leave, send the parent a quick email thanking them for coming.
Social Stories are short stories that teach a specific social skill. A social story addresses one situation the child with autism is struggling with then provides a positive way to deal with the social issue. When writing a social story make sure to include helpful social cues your child can look for the next time they encounter the situation, how the child should respond socially and why. The purpose of a social story is to prepare someone for a positive social interaction by helping them understand the social situation and feel more comfortable.