Social Skills: Targeted in ASD Children

When raising a child on the Autism Spectrum or teaching this child in the classroom, we are often at a loss as to where to start first. We often get so overwhelmed we want to throw our hands up in the air and just do whatever is easiest or what the child will comply to the most.

Social Skills Part 1As the mother of a child on the spectrum, a former teacher, and now as an autism and behavioral specialist, I want to share with you a few of the social goals you should target from the very beginning. We all know that some of the core deficits of autism include a lack of social awareness and skills, lack of communication, and forming relationships. Did you know that you could work on these items while teaching academics? AND while teaching functional skills, and playing at the park, eating dinner, or giving a bath. They can also be taught while following the protocol of ABA, TEACCH, floor time, or any other teaching or parenting plan you may use.

Social Skills Goals

  • Following instructions
  • Accepting criticism or a consequence
  • Accepting NO as an answer
  • Getting the teacher’s attention appropriately
  • Making a request
  • Waiting in line
  • Dealing with anger in appropriate ways
  • Requesting wants and needs

Social Interaction Skills

  • Sharing materials and toys
  • Parallel play
  • Play with turn taking
  • Playing board games
  • Accepting you can’t always win

Social Interactions with Communication Skills

  • Turn taking and topic maintenance in social talk with peers
  • Looking and listening to others when they are speaking
  • Greeting people
  • Saying “Thank You”
  • Giving and receiving compliments
  • Saying “Excuse Me”
  • Apologizing and accepting apologizes from others

Stay tuned for a follow up with ways to address these target skills.

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