Children with autism often have difficulty with social situations, such as meeting new friends or managing the nuances of conversations. These challenges can become increasingly difficult to cope with as the child grows older and enters school. But there is hope. Children who receive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can acquire the social skills they’ll need to succeed, both in school and in life. Talk to your child’s ABA therapist about how you can implement evidence-based ABA techniques at home to help your child master social skills.
The Importance of Mastering Social Skills
Social skills are comprised of the customary behaviors and rules that inform a person’s interactions with others. Social skills are generally absorbed the same way that language is. Young children learn them by observing the people around them. However, children with autism may need extra help to learn social skills. It’s critically important to begin teaching these skills as early as possible. When children have difficulties with social skills, they can become easily frustrated, and this can lead to undesirable behaviors and social isolation. Furthermore, every child needs healthy friendships for emotional wellness.
The Role of ABA Therapy
ABA techniques are evidence-based and time-tested. ABA therapy is a way to replace undesirable behaviors with desired ones, and to teach important skills like those that govern social interactions. For instance, your child’s therapist may recommend enrolling him or her in a social skills group. This is an ABA therapy group in which children interact with their peers in an environment that is carefully monitored and facilitated by the therapist. After the therapist teaches a social skill to the child, such as initiating a conversation or taking turns, the child has the opportunity to master that skill through practice with his or her peers.
Autism can bring many challenges to your family, but we are here to help. The highly trained and compassionate behavior analysts at The Behavior Exchange can put together a personalized plan to help your child—and your whole family—overcome challenges related to autism. Call our ABA center in Plano or Frisco at 972.312.8733 and ask us about our social skills groups.