Posts Tagged ‘young people with autism’

Teaching communication and social skills to young people with autism

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Social awareness skills ARE not naturally learnt by young people with autism, unlike their typically developing peers children with autism DO NOT people watch and lack the ability to naturally learn skills the rest of us take for granted.

Many young people with autism struggle with friendships and find social interaction difficult to master this can lead to misunderstandings and at times social isolation.

Teaching communication and social skills to young people with autism CAN be achieved using Intervention Strategies like social stories, flash cards, PECS and so on…

Using Intervention Strategies is beneficial and has been proven to work.

Typically people with autism tend to be VISUAL thinkers and learners which means they think in pictures and images. Therefore teaching strategies should be predominantly visual, like social stories for example.

The social story is a short visual representation of a skill, situation or behaviour that the child with autism is struggling to master.

The social story breaks the skill into smaller pieces and describes the skill by means of first person text and visual images/pictures. It WILL act like a visual plan or framework which WILL help the child with autism to feel more comfortable and less stressed, confused or anxious.

Social stories answer the “WH” questions – who, what, where, when and why as well as “HOW” and offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most people with autism.

Social stories ARE used for teaching communication and social skills to young people with autism such as: asking other kids to play, asking questions, having a conversation, being able to listed and so on…

No two children with autism will ever be the same and we all use different terminology, therefore it is important that the social story you are using is editable like the social stories found at

The social story needs to also be written from the child’s own perspective and be printable.

Visit for immediate download of 100 social skills stories for various skills, behaviours, activity:

Other social stories CAN be downloaded from

Encourage good hygiene in autism

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Learning self-help skills such as good eating habits, dressing, toileting, and personal hygiene can be challenging for young people with autism spectrum disorder.

Social skills stories can be used effectively to help explain good hygiene habits and routines in autism. Social skills stories are developed to help individuals with autism understand how others perceive their appearance and the social implications of neglecting personal hygiene.

By using visual images and first person text in a step-by-step framework or plan the social story can explain exactly what individuals with autism need to remember to ensure good hygiene.


Teaching personal hygiene to young people with autism spectrum disorder can be problematic due to social skills deficits. Individuals with ASD may not understand the need to develop good hygiene habits.


Social skills deficits are common to autism and affect the way an individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts to situations , skills and behaviours the rest of us take for granted or as “normal”

Social stories encourage good hygiene in autism by answering the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts feelings and emotions of others.

Individuals with ASD are generally visual thinkers and learners therefore visual strategies such as social stories are beneficial. The social story should be editable, easy to personalize and print and be convenient to use.

Personal hygiene skills such as tooth brushing, showering and menstruation can be addressed using appropriate social stories for autism hygiene habits.

To learn more about how social stories for autism hygiene habits can be implemented to help ASD individuals with personal hygiene skills and routines visit sites such as:

Social stories short pieces of text, visual strategies which show ASD individuals how to cope with situations, skills and behaviours that they struggle to understand or deal with.

Social stories for autism hygiene habits can be downloaded from

Other social stories can be downloaded from

Improving social skills in children with autism

Monday, March 29th, 2010

One of the significant difficulties for children with autism is their lack of social skills. Treatments available that help with improving social skills in children with autism include strategies such as social stories.

Social skills deficits are common in children on the spectrum, being able to read another person’s body language, tone of voice or facial expression is not a naturally learnt skill for those with autism, these skills need direct teaching.

This lack of social knowledge can lead to social blunders for even the highest functioning children on the spectrum. Without even knowing why, the child with autism can cause upset, ask inappropriate questions, act oddly and generally leave themselves open to taunts and teasing.

Teaching a child with autism how to improve their social skills especially if they are being schooled in mainstream education is almost certainly a necessity.

For many parents with an autistic child improving their child’s social skills is paramount and for this reason many parents with an autistic child turn to therapies and treatments that are readily available such as social stories. Also used in schools, colleges and the community social stories have evolved into one of the major tools in helping young people with autism improve their social and communication skills effectively.

The social story aims to improve social and communication skills in young people with autism, by using visual images in the form of a short story.  Much like a comic strip conversation, that helps the young person with autism interpret the situation or skill, in a manner that they can understand.

A social story follows a specific style or format, a visual framework. That describes the skill or situation in terms of the relevant social cues, the key points, the perspective of others and will suggest some possible responses and possible responses that others may expect from the young person with autism.

The social story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) helping to make the child with autism more comfortable with and in the situation.

The social story breaks down the skill or situation into small bite sized chinks with relevant visual images giving the child on the spectrum the relative information they need to address the skill or situation in a positive manner. By improving social skills in children with autism, social stories help address the child’s social skills deficits helping the “fit in” with their peers, relieving some confusion, anxieties and stress.

To learn more about social stories and download appropriate social stories for children on the spectrum visit:

Alternatively other sites offering social stories for children on the spectrum can be found at: