Does Your Child Desire Friendships But Lack The Skills To Initiate And Respond To Social Interactions?

Children with autism want to interact socially with their peers. However, they lack the social understanding and the ability to engage in reciprocal (back-and-forth) social interactions. To overcome their social weaknesses, they require an intervention that focuses on teaching social cognition, emotional understanding, and social interaction. They need to develop the abilities to:

  • Easily read and accurately understand spoken and unspoken social and emotional cues;
  • Start and respond to social conversations with peers in natural settings;
  • Consider other people’s beliefs, desires, intentions, and emotions, so they can predict behaviors; and
  • Practice conflict-resolution skills in real-life situations.

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Best Friend

Children with high-functioning autism have limited social and emotional understanding. They lack the ability to interpret verbal and nonverbal cues, recognize social and emotional information, understand different social behaviors and their consequences, and make inferences to understand what others think or feel. While high-functioning autistic children can learn to recognize different and complex emotions, they have trouble explaining the causes of these emotions and assigning meaning to a social interaction, instead, they focus on the details of the interaction itself. For example, upon observing two children sharing a snack, the autistic child may describe the snack itself or the children’s clothing rather than infer that the two kids having lunch are close friends.

The Social Skills Intervention covers the most important skills for peer acceptance. We focus on teaching the ability to read social cues in different social situations to enhance the child’s capability for making accurate social interpretations, engaging in problem-solving and responsible decision-making, and sharing experiences.

Conversation Skills

Group Eligibility: High-Functioning Autism (average verbal skills and compliance)

Insurance: Out-of-network; check your benefits with your provider. We do not call your insurance to verify eligibility.

Note: If your child’s overall functioning skills are below average, please inquire about the individual ABA therapy program.

Skills Taught in the Social Skills Intervention Program:

Empathy Skills

  • Recognize emotions and identify the connection between specific emotions and relevant actions in social contexts.
  • Develop the ability to predict what another person’s emotion is based on facial expression and situational clues.
  • Process complex emotions including shame, jealousy, guilt, and pride.
  • Consider own knowledge of other’s thoughts and experience to make logical predictions/inferences.

Conversation Skills

  • Develop behaviors involved in listening and attending to others
  • Initiate, maintain, and end social interaction in a friendly way.
  • Communicate in precise and clear language to convey responses.
  • Understand the sequence and order of events and retell them logically.
  • Communicate in an empathetic and flexible way.

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Inviting Friends

Friendship Skills

  • Attend to the speaker and show interest in the intended message.
  • Engage in appropriate mannerism and show self and respect for others.
  • Describe friendship traits, such as sharing, kindness, compromise, and fairness.
  • Defining and applying the problem-solving process to social conflicts.

Executive Function Skills

  • Focus attention on relevant details
  • Discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information.
  • Think through the problem systematically.
  • Establish a goal and plan a strategy to reach it.
  • Intergrade past knowledge to generate new learning.
  • Monitor one’s own behavior and take responsibility
  • Learn behaviors that increase self-control and decrease impulsivity
  • Encourage a reflective approach to effective problem solving

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