Children with autism often find it difficult to participate in social activities with family and friends. Communication, sensory, and emotional challenges can make engagement difficult. Teaching skills to enhance social interaction is an integral part of services at Possibilities Northeast.
Social skill development enables us to have positive interactions with others. Possessing skills to effectively participate and communicate with others is essential to an individual’s ability to engage in play or work, maintain friendships, and participate in school or community activities. In addition to physical participation, the ability to understand emotions and express empathy are also crucial skills needed for successful social interaction.
Social skills are vital in enabling an individual to have and maintain positive interactions with others. Many of these skills are crucial in making and sustaining friendships. Social interactions do not always run smoothly and an individual needs to be able to implement appropriate strategies, such as conflict resolution when difficulties in interactions arise. It is also important for individuals to have ’empathy’ (i.e. being able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and recognize their feelings) as it allows them to respond in an understanding and caring way to how others are feeling.
Does not maintain eye contact with you or has a fixed stare
Difficulty with using appropriate body language (stands too close/or far from another person)
Possessive, unable to share items with another child
Difficulty understanding “give and take” or taking turns.
Shows little interest in what others are doing
Repetitive talk about items of their own interest, e.g. cars, TV shows, etc.
Interrupts others when communicating
Does not engage in imaginary play
Does not respond appropriately to tone or facial expressions of others.
Appears unaware of other’s emotions
Fails to understand the consequences of their actions