In this article I am going to tell you how to help your autistic child develop social skills. The reason I am going to tell you how to teach your child this is because with the right tools and strategies, you can help your autistic child reach their full potential when it comes to communicating meaningfully with others.
In this article I am going to teach you
- How to turn normal every day activities into fun, learning events
- How to make interactions with your child more meaningful
- How to engage with your child and keep conversations going and
- How to teach them something without appearing to be in teaching mode
Every day events such as meal times, bed time, bath time and travel time can be turned into a fun time where you can interact in a meaningful and productive way with your autistic child.
For example at meal times you can talk to your child about where different foods come from and encourage them to plant and tend to some seeds.
Face your child if possible and ask open-ended questions that encourage your child to answer. Stress certain words, speak slowly, say less so your child does not have to process too many pieces of information
If your child appears stuck or fixated on one topic, talk to them about what they are interested in but then introduce a new idea such as "I wonder what the dinosaurs' favourite food was?
Then give them time to answer and follow with something like "mine is ravioli" and change topic to something about different foods to buy for dinner etc.
This way your child does not notice you have switched topic and almost by distraction you will engage them on other subjects.
Keep bringing the child back to the topic you want to talk about unless it becomes very clear they simply are not interested at that time. If this is the case try later!
Books can also be used for teaching social skills especially ones that are visual, imaginative or have a clear story or lesson to be learned.
Get your child to follow along with what is happening with each character and help them with understanding why some character is saying, what they mean or are thinking and what is really happening in the picture between the different characters.
Using visual aids such as pictures or drawings or even writing words will help explain to your child what you mean when you seem to be at a stalemate.