Posts Tagged ‘help teach autistic children’

Help teach autistic children to make friends

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) affects about one in every 100 children born.


Autistic children are sometimes referred to as being “locked in their own world” and struggle to communicate with others. Many autistic children have hyper or hypo sensitivities, will display repetitive behaviours and obsessive tendencies.

All children on the spectrum will have social skills deficits, the theory of mind: Social interactions, communication difficulties and imagination skills do not develop in the typical manner.


The theory of mind refers to how the child on the spectrum cannot readily appreciate the feelings, knowledge, or beliefs of other people, nor recognise or interpret his or her own thought processes. Consequently they will display communication difficulties, a lack of self-consciousness, and an inability to understand social situations, skills, nonverbal communications and imagination skills.


It is because of the theory of mind a child on the spectrum may find making friends difficult preferring solitary play.

Typically developing children may find a child on the spectrum hard to befriend, this is not uncommon, autistic children can appear rude, aloof and at times unfriendly or approachable.


This is due to their social skills deficits, an autistic child may fail to recognise nonverbal signals sent from another child, humour or jokes, they may lack the skills to pretend play, share or take turns all of which can make befriending an autistic child hard.


There are methods that can help teach autistic children to make friends, one method which is easy to use and can be implemented without any need for formal training is social stories.


Social stories are visual supports for autism which were developed almost twenty years ago as a means of aiding communication difficulties. However today their uses have increased, social stories are probably one of the major methods used to help autistic children learn social skills such as making friends.


Social stories are short, almost comic like representations of a skill or behaviour from the autistic person’s point of view. Using visual images and first person text the social story will answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what a well as give an insight into the thought process, emotions, feelings and nonverbal communications of others.


Today visual supports for autism play a large part in the teaching of social, communication and imagination skills of children on the spectrum. Generally written by experts, teachers and parents of children on the spectrum, social stories are editable, can be personalized and should be printable for convenience of use. To access social skills stories for issues like making friends visit


To learn more about social skills stories for children with autism and how they can be used to help teach autistic children to make friends, as well as for a wide variety of issues such as respecting personal space, asking questions, recess, visiting the dentist, joining in PE lessons and so on.

Get access to social skills stories for children with autism and related conditions.