HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Social-Skills Training and Joint-Attention Training for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

“Can social skills training really help children with high functioning autism? What should a good training program consist of?”

There is some objective evidence to support traditional and newer naturalistic behavioral techniques and other approaches to teaching social skills. Joint attention training may be especially helpful in young, pre-verbal kids on the autism spectrum (e.g., Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism), because joint attention behaviors precede and predict social language development.

A randomized, controlled trial demonstrated that joint attention and symbolic play skills can be taught, and that these skills generalize to different settings and people. Parents can facilitate joint attention and other reciprocal social interaction experiences throughout the day in the youngster's regular activities.

A social skills curriculum should target the following:
  • initiating social behavior
  • minimizing stereotyped perseverative behavior while using a flexible and varied repertoire of responses
  • responding to the social overtures of other kids and grown-ups
  • self-managing new and established skills



The following are supported primarily by descriptive and anecdotal literature, but the quantity and quality of research is increasing: 
  • peer-mediated techniques
  • play and leisure curricula 
  • scripts
  • social games
  • social skills groups
  • social stories
  • video modeling
  • visual cueing

A number of social skills curricula and guidelines are available for use in school programs and at home.


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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content