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  • Writer's pictureAmy Dougley

Social Skills and ASD

What are Social Skills?

Social skills are described as the rules or customs that guide any interactions we have with people around us. Social skills may be easy for neurotypical kids to pick up on, however those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a different way of interpreting them.

Just a few ways social skills can be developed:

  1. Having direct instructions that can be practiced in real-life settings, teachable moments like these can help them learn better by participating and having a visual understanding.

  2. Developing play skills by playing games your child is a fan of, having siblings involved or other peers modelling.

  3. Visual supports to provide a better understanding in certain situations.

  4. Building cognitive and language skills.

  5. Enrolling in social skills groups with peers.

  6. Timing and attention, gaining attention and giving time in conversations can assist in better understanding what is being asked.

How are Socials Skills Affected?

Those diagnosed with ASD have a neurological impairment which can affect social functioning in the following ways:

  • Maintaining eye contact in conversations

  • Initiating interactions

  • Conversations outside of their main interests

  • Understanding others’ point of views

  • Physical touch

  • Responding in conversations

  • Understanding non-verbal cues and many more

Who can teach Social Skills?

Speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioural therapists, psychologists, special education teachers, and other health professionals can assist in acquiring social skills for your child.

Having your child join social skills group can be a huge factor as they are able to grow their skills in a natural environment with peers!

If you have any questions or concerns about building social skills, book a free consultation with one of our behavioural therapists to see how someone on our team might be able to assist.

This blog was written by behavioural therapist, Neha Patel. For more information about Neha, click this link which will take you directly to her bio:


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