More often than not, children with ASD struggle socially. Some kids have trouble understanding facial expressions, while other children miss social cues. Most have difficulty understanding why the outer world works the way it does. The stress of socializing can cause anxiety, loneliness, and isolation. Some parents worry their child can’t learn new social skills. Luckily, social skills training uses practical tools to help children develop empathy, self-advocate, and build long-lasting relationships.
At EMIT, we offer in-home social skills training for kids ages 1.5 to 18. Learn more about telehealth training programs by calling us today at 844.983.0240.
What You Can Expect in Social Skills Training
Social skills training uses teachable moments. Teachable moments are usually social scenes played out with a therapist. Sometimes toys or stuffed animals stand in for people. Other times, parents take part in these training sessions. In some cases, therapists will use applied behavioral analysis for social skills training. In this method, therapists reward kiddos for correct responses and ignore incorrect responses, relying on a child’s likes and dislikes. For example, if a child matches the correct words for emotions to photos of facial expressions, they may be rewarded with a favorite game or treat. This simple strategy can assist at home, too. Social skills training with therapists and parents can help children cope with situations such as:
- Bullying and social conflict
- Self-advocating needs and desires
- Expressing emotions
- Understanding emotions
- Managing anger and frustration
- Gatherings and parties
- Outings to stores
- Field trips and restaurants
- Classroom behavior
- Making friends
- Getting along with family
- Talking to strangers
- Managing social anxiety
For many, social skills training is very effective. It can relieve stress and anxiety, making children living with autism feel like all the other kids on the playground. Over time, social skills training can help children gain confidence and express their needs and desires with ease. At home, social skills training can help the entire family grow more compassionate, empathetic, and understanding of each other’s needs. When parents and family members better understand a child’s struggles with social skills, they can help mitigate stressful social situations.
Steps of Social Skills Therapy
Do you want to begin training social skills at home? The best autism therapies are practiced daily at home. When children feel safe in their environment, they are more likely to retain knowledge. Follow these steps for social skills training at home:
- Set a goal you can meet-Be realistic and set small, manageable goals.
- Give them the why-Children with autism may not struggle to perform skills but struggle to understand why a skill is important.
- Model and mirror-Children learn best when skills are demonstrated to them.
- Practice-Daily practice with one parent or the entire family is best for learning.
- Prompt responses-If your child forgets a step or a word, prompt them.
- Generalize-Show your child how skills can apply to multiple social situations.
- Reinforce with more practice-Ask family and friends to help.
Regular practice of social skills can make a vast difference for a child with ASD. It also helps the entire family. Families who practice social skills together worry less about their child’s future and experience a happier home life.
Begin Social Skills Training at Home With EMIT
Many believe social skills cannot be trained. The truth is, social skills training is an effective way to help children with autism better engage with the world around them. At EMIT, we strive for holistic autism therapy to help children live bright and full lives. Our telehealth treatment programs support families across New Jersey with social skills training, ABA therapy, and more. Call us today at 844.983.0240 to learn more and begin social skills training.