Often, children with autism struggle to engage socially. This lack of social engagement may lead to isolation, misunderstanding, and hurt feelings for your child and others. Sometimes missing social cues may make it difficult for your child to self-advocate and connect with their community. This lack of connection may lead to bullying or teasing. These stressors take a toll on the whole family, and it may seem overwhelming to find the right autism therapy program to support your family. Autism is a lifelong disorder affecting cognitive functioning, social skills, and behavior. However, early childhood autism social skills training therapy can offer children and their families support.
At EMIT Therapeutics, we’re proud to provide treatment for children with autism. We offer in-home social skills autism therapy for children from 1.5 to 18 years of age and their families across New Jersey. Learn more about our social skills training by calling us today at 908.376.6278.
What Is Social Skills Training?
Social skills training focuses on “teachable moments” to enhance communication and social integration. Teachable moments are often played out in scenes with a therapist, sometimes from a script, or with the use of stuffed animals, allowing children to rehearse everyday social situations in a safe and nurturing environment. Training often involves a reward system to acknowledge good behavior. Through practice, children focus on timing and attention to better understand social situations and engage with the world. Social skills training can help children with scenarios such as:
- Playdates and field trips
- Handling bullying
- Taking turns and sharing
- Going to stores or restaurants
- Classroom engagement
- Personal relationships
With practice, social skills training can foster emotional awareness indistinguishable from those without autism. As a result, your child will have a greater understanding and ease in their daily life. It will also prepare them for a future without the stress of misinterpreting social cues.
Seven Steps of Social Skills Therapy
There are seven steps of social skills training that help children and their families integrate the lessons into habits. Each step builds upon the previous step to reinforce social habits at a pace your child can comfortably manage. By following these steps with your child, you can ensure deeper understanding and regular use of techniques practiced in therapy.
- Set a reasonable goal with clear and manageable guidelines your child understands.
- Tell your child why they should practice each skill.
- Model each skill to develop social awareness.
- Practice together.
- Prompt your child’s response when they forget or struggle.
- Generalize behavior for multiple situations to demonstrate similarity in various social situations.
- Reinforce skills with personal and peer practice.
Together, therapists and families practicing the seven steps of social skills therapy create a reliable, consistent routine for children. These lessons allow the child to develop empathy, active listening, and respect for those around them. They also gain tools to protect themselves in vulnerable social situations. Therapists and families monitor progress and adjust goals as the child develops and implements social skills at home, school, and the outside world. In time, this form of group support and practice provides your child with a foundation for successful schooling, jobs, and personal relationships later in life.
Contact EMIT Therapeutics to Learn More
At EMIT Therapeutics, we believe in holistic autism treatment rooted in social skills therapy to help children with autism grow and thrive. We use a range of methods that we tailor to each child’s needs through applied behavior analysis and early intervention programs. In the comfort of your own home, we provide your child with the tools they need for a bright future and the support you need to help your child succeed and understand the world around them. Contact us online today or at 908.376.6278 to begin social skills training therapy.