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Can you advise me on social skills training for my 12-year-old child with Aspergers?


Can you advise me on social skills training for my 12-year-old child with Aspergers?


For children and teens with Aspergers (high-functioning autism), social skills are necessary, but usually lacking. Finding resources for social skills training in the educational setting may be difficult in many areas. If your child’s school offers social skills classes, social skills therapy, or peer mentoring, he should be participating. If not, there may be public or community based programs, or even private therapy choices available. These programs range in cost and availability and could be unattainable. If this is the case, there are ways to teach these skills at home with very little cost.

Because this is so important, the Aspergers social skills connection must be addressed as early as possible and continually supplemented as the child’s ability to understand improves with age. Similar to basic manners, here are a few of the basic social skills that should be taught to children with Aspergers.
  • How to act appropriately in public -- following public laws, dressing appropriately, keeping bodily functions private, being mindful of others, etc.
  • Personal hygiene -- clean body, clean teeth, clean hair, clean clothes, etc.
  • Table manners -- using utensils, using a napkin, chewing, talking, excusing oneself, etc.
  • Telephone manners -- salutations, listening, speaking, answering questions, taking messages, etc.
  • Two way conversation -- greeting, speaking, appropriate subjects, listening, answering, etc.

While teaching your child with Aspergers social skills, you can easily incorporate basic living skills. As your child enters the teen years, it becomes increasingly important that he knows how to manage not only himself, but also a household. Beginning to teach basic chores and household management skills at his age will help prepare your child for his college years. Here are a few examples of basic living skills.
  • Financial-banking, paying bills, saving money, etc.
  • Household chores-cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.
  • Maintenance-stocking groceries, changing air conditioner filters, mowing the lawn, etc.

You can teach your child with Aspergers social skills at home by using visual and written schedules. For example, a visual aid that shows appropriate daily, weekly, and monthly hygiene will help your child keep track of what should be done, when it should be done, and how often it should be done. You can also search the Internet of public library for books and videos to help you plan learning activities.

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management


Anonymous said...

How can you help your Aspergers child deal with a socially popular sibling? Here's our situation: My 7 yr old is literally the life of the party. He makes friends everywhere he goes, he always has playmates available and is invited many places with his friends. Depending on the group my 9 yr old Aspie is included but it's clear to anyone observing the group his brother is in the center of the group. How do you help your Asperger child deal with this? I've noticed lately he's getting really jealous of his brother and is starting to act out toward him. We try to find an activity for him that he enjoys when his brother is gone but in conversation we know he's sad that he doesn't have a best friend. He's trying so hard but he hasn't really connected with someone that doesn't leave him to play with his brother. He's starting Social Skills therapy in January and we work with him daily on being "aware" when interacting with others but I hate to see him be alone.

Anonymous said...

Take him/her to a children's theater group, or gymnastics class. Find activities at involve other kids but where they are independently doing something.

Anonymous said...

Special Olympics has been wonderful for my 11 year old

Anonymous said...

Boy scouts for my son....haven't found anything that I can afford for the girls yet.

Anonymous said...

I have taken my daughter to social skills group at Geneva Centre and now we are taking them at Aisling Discoveries. She also in swimming lessons at Variety Village (they are amazing with special needs kids).

Anonymous said...

what about Girl Scouts? They do some awesome group activities and learn life skills similar to Boy Scouts

Anonymous said...

Secret Agent Society Program is really good.

Anonymous said...

We have a Lego Social Club in our area that is wonderful! It teaches teamwork and social skills to children and teens with Aspergers and Autism.

Anonymous said...

Avi often answers questions that have a yes or no answer with the response "yes and no". If I ask, "what do you mean by that?" he'll occasionally explain, but usually just repeats "yes and no", like it's the most obvious thing in the world.

It's frustrating not to be able to get a straight answer from him, even though if I think about it, I can usually work out what he means.
But other people may not want to bother trying to work out what he means by "yes and no", and will just be put off talking to him at all.
And when I tell him, "if you speak like that, people won't understand you and it will be hard for them to be your friend," he simply shrugs and says " I don't care"

Any suggestions on helping him give more understandable answers? Or helping him to care that people understand him?


Mark said...

RE: Any suggestions on helping him give more understandable answers?

He must have heard the "yes and no" phrase somewhere, and is now somewhat obsessed with it.

You can model for him expanded explanations. For example, when he asks you a question, you can say, "The answer to that question is 'yes' ...and here's why ____________________ (insert longer explanation)."

RE: Or helping him to care that people understand him?

This is a phase that he will outgrow eventually. I wouldn't worry about it.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

Click here for the full article...