Social Skills

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SOCIAL SKILLS
What are social skills? Why are they important to teach to children with autism?

Social rules, explicit and implied, are everywhere. It is easiest to notice them when they are missing in children, such as when your child makes an unusual statement, walks the perimeter of the playground instead of joining into the game, or when your child has difficulty losing the game or getting off the computer when asked.

“Missing” social skills generally accompany children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a result, children on the autism spectrum often end up frustrated and socially isolated. Teachers feel frustrated, as do parents. Research shows that children with autism may be even more likely to experience loneliness & poor quality friendships then their typical developing peers” (Bauminger, Kasari, 2000).

As practitioners we are faced every day with the challenge of developing and teaching appropriate skills for children on the Autism Spectrum. Teaching social skills has become a popular topic in the world of autism, with many different perspectives of what social skills are and how to teach them. If you ask teachers what social skills means they may include the ability to sit and listen, raise your hand and follow classroom directions. If you ask a speech and language pathologist, they may include the ability to use language or to see someone else’s point of view; if you ask a parent, they may say the ability to have friends and spend time with them. Are all of these social skills? Of course! Let’s explore the concept of “Social skills” as understood through the perspective of an Education assistant working with junior high children. In this assignment I have attempted the topic in the form of Question and Answers backed up by brief examples from my classroom set up in schools.

What is your definition of social skills training?
In my opinion Social skills are those set of rules or personal skills that are...
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