Kids with autism find play skills and social interaction with peers extremely difficult.
This is due to their social skills deficits, which are common to all individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), the degree of social skills deficits will depend on each individual, no two children will ever be the same.
A child on the autism range will undoubtedly have social skills deficits in three main areas of development, social interactions, communication both verbal and nonverbal and imagination skills.
Because of the child’s rigidity of thought and behaviour, and limited imagination or imaginative play skills, the child on the autism range may carry out ritualistic actions. For example lining up their Lego or sorting it into colours rather than playing with it.
A child on the autism range may focus upon minor details, for example rather than play with the toy car they may be obsessed with the wheel only and continuously spin it, rather than play with the whole car.
Plus with limited verbal and non-verbal communication skills the child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will lack the ability to converse naturally and may misunderstand the emotions, gestures, or ideas of others, and have difficulties understanding wit, humour and pretend play talk.
Kids with autism tend to be very literal, making pretend or imaginative play difficult for them to join in with or understand.
However there are techniques available that help build and promote play skills in children with autism.
One such technique is the use of social skills stories these can be adapted to suit individual’s needs, can be printed and used almost everywhere making them ideal in the home, school and out and about.
Consequently teaching a child with ASD play skills can be initiated using social skills stories as a means of showing the child with ASD how and why we play. By answering the “wh” questions: who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others. The social skills story acts like a role model or visual plan when teaching a child with ASD play skills by detailing the skill and breaking it down into small pieces.
Using visual images and first person text the social skills story can help the child with ASD better understand the skill or behaviour, therefore making them more comfortable with and in the situation, reducing stress and un-necessary anxiety.
To find appropriate social skills stories that help teach play skills as well as other social and communication skills and behaviours visit: