Unlike normally developing children kids with autism spectrum find interactions difficult. This is due to autistic social skills deficits which are common to autism spectrum disorder.
A child on the spectrum will always have autistic social skills deficits but the degree or severity of their individual autistic social skills deficits will depend largely on the individual child on the spectrum and where on the autism spectrum they are.
The autistic social skills deficits common to autism spectrum disorder are difficulties with social interactions, communication deficits and deficits with imagination skills.
It is their deficits with social interaction skills that can make a child on the spectrum appear aloof and disinterested, which can hinder making and maintaining friends.
Having poor communication skills and a lack of imagination can mean the child on the spectrum may misunderstand pretend play, be unable to take turns and share.
So how do social skills stories teach children with autism about friendship.
Autism social skills stories were developed originally as an aid to help kids with autism spectrum communicate. Today they are largely used as a means of teaching social interaction skills as well as imagination skills and to address communication difficulties.
Autism social skills stories follow a set pattern of sentence type and use visual images to show in detail a skill or situation the child on the spectrum may be struggling to understand. So for example sharing, typically developing children may not like the idea of sharing, but will understand why they need to share and the consequence of not sharing.
A child on the spectrum will not necessarily understand why they need to share or indeed care to know why the consequence will be of little or no importance to them either. Therefore when deciding how to teach a skill like sharing it is a good idea to use supports that are designed to help a child with autism grasp a skill.
So for example how do social skills stories teach children with autism about friendship and being a good friend. The social skills story will answer the “wh” questions: who, where, why, when and what, as well as give the child with autism an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others. The social skills story acts as a role model, visually showing the autistic youngster how to deal with the skill or situation appropriately.
To learn more about social stories and how they could help your autistic youngster visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com