Engaging with other people and honing your social skills can be challenging for anyone, but these challenges are magnified for children and adults on the autism spectrum. People with autism usually have the desire to interact and engage with others, but are often overwhelmed by new social experiences and therefore have a hard time making friends.
Integrating social skills with practice enhances participation in the community and results in desirable outcomes, like building a social circle and having social fulfillment.
What are Social Skills?
In a nutshell, these are rules and customs that guide our daily interactions with one another. These skills are inherently learned growing up; and over time, learning these social norms enables us to map out how to act in different social situations. But for people with autism, learning and honing these skills can be difficult. This leads them to navigate social situations without the experience of their peers.
Where to Learn Social Skills?
Social skills can be learned from different settings and different people. From home and school. To just being a part of the general community, there’s someone who can impart appropriate social skills. But if you’d like to advance the development of these skills. There are professionals who can aid in the adoption of social skills and the perception of social cues. For children, you might want to consider an education setting designed especially for kids on the spectrum. Such as an autism school. Orange County and other areas of California are home to several autism schools that can help facilitate appropriate social interactions.
The professionals that will be helping in this journey. Must be able to coordinate with the student’s family, friends, and/or colleagues. To properly strategize a way to make learning easier for the child. Here are some professionals who can assist with navigating social environments and scenarios:
- Special Education Teachers
- Speech Pathologists
- Behavioral Therapists
- School Psychologists
- Occupational Therapists (for adults)
Social Skill Support Groups: Are They Effective?
Social skill support groups are a way to create a social setting for people. With autism to learn about and navigate social situations. This is an effective and methodological procedure in which the person. Autism is given small increments of change in regard to social interactions. This allows them to get comfortable with practicing different social skills in a facilitated and safe environment.
An effective social skills group would need to have the following:
- Simplifies language for children based on their cognitive level and language adaptivity
- Encourages working in groups or pairs
- Builds self-awareness and increases self-esteem
- Explains and shatters complex and abstract concepts into more understandable bits
- Provides multiple and diverse opportunities for learning
Professional Help in Orange County — Orange County Autism Services
If you’re living in Southern California. Orange County autism services are available to help you or your loved one learn essential social skills. Any established autism school in Orange County that offers programs. Counseling, behaviorally designed classrooms. Free resources and emotional support can also be beneficial to someone that may be struggling with social situations. The right autism health service provider along with a trusted autism school. Orange County residents rely on can provide the resources and proper guidance. So that one can better adapt to society despite the challenges of having autism.