All individuals with autism spectrum disorder will have social impairments or lack the theory of mind, which means they will lack the ability to “mind read”, understand body language and facial expression. As typically developing beings we take these skills for granted.
Generally social impairments become apparent early in childhood and continue through to adulthood.
For children on the autism spectrum having a distinct lack of social skills can mean social interactions are difficult. They will almost certainly be less likely to approach other children spontaneously, imitate and respond to emotions, and still not grasp the concept of turn taking.
Making and maintaining friendships often proves to be difficult for children with ASD social development is not learnt naturally.
Children on the autism spectrum like typically developing children do need friends…and as a parent or teacher of an autistic child there are ways in which you can help them understand the importance of social development and friendships.
Parents can help their child with autism learn skills such as making friends, sharing and taking turns etc. using autistic social stories.
Autism social stories are a strategy used to explain social and communication skills, by answering the important “wh” question who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others.
Autism social stories tend to be visual; this is because children with ASD are generally visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures which makes autistic social stories an ideal strategy.
Helping autism social development using autistic social stories is beneficial. Autistic social stories are written in the first person, using appropriate language and images in a manner the child with autism can understand. Images are a powerful means of communication which are understood by all, this concept if followed with autistic social stories.
The social story is a visual plan or framework much like a comic strip conversation which can act as a role model for the child with autism, helping them understand the skill or behavior that they are struggling with.
Autism social development using autistic social stories will show your autistic child in a clear helpful manner how, why, where and when they should do something. They will give the appropriate responses the autistic child may expect and also the responses they themselves should expect from others.
Studies show children with ASD respond well to printable autism social stories, with marked improvements in social understanding and behaviors.
To obtain printable autism social stories which you can download and use visit