Social Skills and Autism

Social Skills

Everything from building social skills, to the challenges of being social for those with Autism, ASD, and Aspergers. How to date, how to talk to your child, and how to build towards social success: we have articles, blogs, and links to help you through the tricky subject of social ASD.

Bullying and Autism – How We Can Help

The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face-to-face or online. This definition encompasses four key elements of bullying – hurtful, repetition, a power imbalance, and intentional. Bullying tends to…

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Teaching Flexibility – An Important Skill

Not everything in life goes according to plan – when change happens, we need to be able to adapt. While autistic people need predictable and consistent routines, it’s still important to be able to cope with changes both planned and unplanned. Having flexibility will build resilience, problem solving skills, and help a person to overcome changes and challenges. In order…

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Supporting Autistic Children through Structured Play

Engaging in play is an important part of child development. There are numerous benefits derived from playing such as developing imagination and creativity, cognitive growth, building social skills, improving literacy, encouraging independence and promoting physical fitness. While autistic children enjoy playing, they may find some types of play difficult. This can be due to the development of social and communication…

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Social-Emotional Learning and Autism

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing and using social and emotional skills. SEL skills are necessary to understand and manage emotions, set goals, make decisions, cooperate, resolve conflicts, feel empathy for others, solve problems, and work on a team (just to name a few). Children start to learn these skills from the time they are babies and continue…

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Rethinking Social Skills

Over the years, my thoughts and opinions around social skills teaching have changed a great deal. Reading and listening to the viewpoints of autistic people has opened my eyes to the problems that social skills training can cause over time such as masking. When autistic thinking and neurology are not taken into account, social skills tend to be taught for…

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Autism Community Support – What Can You Offer?

Community based organizations and groups reach a variety of individuals with varying needs and wants. Not every organization will have access to trained professionals in all requested areas of support, but there is a lot you can provide at the grassroots level. There are several options that can be offered in the community around support, interaction, and information. Four ideas…

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The Importance of Play for Autistic Children

Play is an important part of a child’s development. It builds fine and gross motor skills, social skills, communication skills, language, thinking and problem solving skills. In autistic children, play can be very limited. For example, a child may want to play alone, engage in repetitive play like lining up toys or moving from them from point A to point…

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Should we insist on eye contact from autistic children?

Making eye contact has been a long debate in the autism community. Eye contact is a necessary skill for navigating social landscapes at work and school. Lack of eye contact is one of the hallmarks of autism, but should we insist on it? Why do children find it difficult to make eye contact? A new study, published in November in…

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Turn It On: Using Media for Social Learning

By Anna Vagin, PhD. I’m working with a group of four third graders in a social learning group. As they play a cooperative board game, they are working on being flexible – listening to each other, sharing strategy plans, and letting go of their individual ideas when others present a better one. Oh, yes, and they are managing their uncomfortable…

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How does a person with ASD date successfully?

For individuals with as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), dating can be a real challenge. It is a misconception that people on the spectrum don’t want relationships – often they do, but they just don’t know how to meet people or understand the nuances of relationships. How do we effectively teach relationship skills?

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Autism’s Social Barriers

The chances of detection and treatment depend on who you are and where you live

By PAULINE TAM, Published in The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — It’s the unspoken rule about autism services that Anne Jovanovic knows all too well: Getting help for her son, Mica, requires her to wage a constant war with the gatekeepers of provincial programs.

Since Mica was diagnosed two years ago, Jovanovic has parsed government documents and doggedly pursued officials to press her case. In doing so, the federal public servant has established herself as a mother whose demands can’t be easily dismissed.

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Setting the Stage for Social Success

Persons diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) lack the understanding of nonverbal communication that so many of us take for granted. A nod of the head, a smirk, a change in voice tone is so often misinterpreted or totally missed by those with this diagnosis. If you do not read these non-verbal signals, you are not likely to send the appropriate non-verbal messages either. Additionally, youngsters with AS often interpret language literally and miss the more abstract references. These youngsters often have difficulty building relationships with their peers. For this reason many of these individuals also suffer with poor self-esteem. Yet traditional “social skills” programs have not been very successful in teaching these capable individuals the skills they need in our social world.

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The 5-Point Scale and Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation can be defined as the ability to separate your emotional responses to a problem from the thinking you must perform to resolve the problem. The 5-point scale is a visual system that can help to organize a person’s thinking when working through difficult moments, particularly those that require social understanding.

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The Beales of Grey Gardens

Last week I watched a fascinating film about Big and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. They were brought to public attention back in the early 1970’s because of the uninhabitable state of their home, Grey Gardens, in East Hampton, New York.

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