Eye contact avoidance is an issue that troubles many parents with children on the spectrum. Should your child with autism be encouraged to make eye contact; and how should the child’s avoidance be managed without inducing anxiety or stress? These and other controversial questions are sometimes answered with a narrow, neurotypical view. Neurotypical society puts

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in Social Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time of the year for many children. It can be a time of parties and candy. However, transitions between various activities and sudden changes in daily routines can be particularly upsetting for some children with autism. Parents, however, can help to alleviate some of these stresses by utilizing

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in Social Skills by Ron Malcolm, EdD

One of the things that melts my heart and fills me with joy is when a parent says to me: “How can I help my child be friends with your child?” What really floors me is when one of my son’s peers asks me how to be his friend or asks his/her mother to ask

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in Social Skills by Rita Roem

Play is very complex, especially when teaching children with autism, but it is essential to social skills development. Children naturally engage in play on the playground at recess; however, for children with autism, play does not come as easily. The playground is unpredictable, loud, chaotic, and can be an extremely overwhelming place for a child

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in Social Skills by Annette Nuñez, PhD

The lazy summer mornings are but a distant memory as kids are returning to school for another year and their mothers rejoice at the thought of some well-earned peace and quiet once more. So why, when our little ones are getting back into a stable routine that helps keep them grounded, are so many moms

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in Social Skills by Ruthangela Bernadette

Many children with disabilities struggle to make friends at school, church, or within their neighborhoods. Children with autism are no different. Nothing hurts the heart of parents more than witnessing the social isolation that their child with autism may be experiencing daily. So, how can parents help? Here is a list of ten practical suggestions

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in Social Skills by Ron Malcolm, EdD

Recess is often thought of as a break for both teachers and children. It is a time for teachers to take a breather, eat a snack, go to the bathroom, check emails, etc. As for children, recess is seen as a time for them to “let some energy out.” However, after spending ten years observing

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in Social Skills by Annette Nuñez, PhD

It is a proud moment for a mom when she sees her child making friends. However, if your child has autism spectrum disorder, he/she might face difficulties in picking up social cues, thus making friends a challenge. Your kid wants friends but does not know how to make and keep them. Your parenthood strategy takes

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in Social Skills by Kori Anderson

When I was younger, just a child, I used to spend a lot of time in front of the TV. When I became a teenager and discovered the magic of the movies and films, I would try to watch them as much as possible. I didn’t think about this until recently, but watching TV and

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in Social Skills by Alan DD

The playground represents a time for having fun where children laugh, play, run around, and form friendships. However, for a child with autism the playground is like being lost in a foreign country without knowing the language. The playground is chaotic, unpredictable, loud, and over-stimulating. We often see children with autism walking the perimeter of

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in Social Skills by Annette Nuñez, PhD

Cats are lovable and cute, but what most people don’t know is that these furry animals can help children with autism improve their social skills. Cats bond with the children by providing affection and attention which promotes healthy relationships. Parents with children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might not want to get their child

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in Social Skills by Betti Wilson

The word “playdate” is a dreaded word for many autism families.  I know numerous families that will avoid playdates for several reasons. Many parents think their child cannot participate in them because they lack the play, social, and verbal skills to be successful. Some parents will not schedule playdates because they are not themselves social.

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in Social Skills by Annette Nuñez, PhD

Children with autism spectrum disorder can sometimes find communication and social interaction difficult, and parents can feel shut out. But caregivers can make a big difference in opening the door to communication—and part of it might boil down to meat and potatoes. Why are we bringing dinner into the discussion? Keep reading! Changing the way

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in Social Skills by Katherine Walton, PhD

Most parents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children want them to have effective social coaching in school to supplement what’s done at home. School Individualized Education Programs (IEP) usually include groups using social learning curriculum. How do we assess whether the child is learning effective skills? Are there any possible negative effects of social skills instruction, or

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in Social Skills by Marcia Eckerd, PhD

What Are Social Skills? Social skills refer to a child’s ability to communicate with others in a way that is acceptable and appropriate for social situations. When a child has social skills, he/she can form friendships and can carry a simple conversation. Social Skills and Autism It’s a common misconception that children with autism do

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in Social Skills by Kim Barloso, AB

“Maria and Toni are going to be so surprised when they come over. I can’t wait to see the expression on their faces when I tell them the truth.” They think we’re having a barbeque in my backyard but it’s not true. In reality, I’m treating them to a special lunch at our favorite Italian

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in Social Skills by Deanna Picon

Friendships have an important role to play in our overall well-being and quality of life. Unfortunately, many children with autism do not establish friendships and continue to have difficulties doing so once they get into their teen years.  A recent study in the Journal of Autism, reported that teenagers and adults who have a diagnosis

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in Social Skills by Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA

Kids with autism usually struggle socially and often find the teen years especially difficult. Anxiety and depression can emerge or worsen, along with a sense of helplessness, worthlessness and loneliness. Mental health professionals often refer these teens to social skills groups. These groups teach lessons about how to “appropriately” interact in a neurotypical (NT) world.

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in Social Skills by Debra Moore, PhD

Dating can be filled with stress and insecurity, but what happens when you add to this the fact that your date has Asperger’s syndrome? What should you do and what should you not do? How can you make things work? Here are 10 points to keep in mind when falling in love with one of

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in Social Skills by Alan DD

A friend’s teen daughter who has high functioning autism enjoys her bird pets. She is aware of their heartbeats and she notices their beautiful eyelashes. Most wouldn’t see these special elements of birds. Maria’s sensitivity is an amazing gift and her caring for all animals is inspiring. Animals are great healers for many children, especially

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in Social Skills by Paula Timpson, MSE

My 8-year-old son with autism loves his little brother and wants to play with him, but he has difficulty sharing, is overly-affectionate, and his screaming is so off-putting. How can I encourage their relationship as siblings? – Priya Hi Priya, I love that you want to help foster the brotherly bond between your boys! It

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in Social Skills by Angelina M., MS, BCBA, LMFT

My name is Leanne — I’m 23 years old and I have Asperger’s syndrome.  I have heard that social stories help lot of kids (and maybe even adults) on the autism spectrum to be better able to handle transitions, upcoming events, and activities that most children (and adults) are able to handle easily.  I remember during one

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in Social Skills by Leanne Strong

Many parents of children with autism enjoy the various advantages that homeschooling affords, especially in the social arena. It provides a fluid opportunity for practical socialization at quantities dictated by individual need and quality as defined by your family’s values. It takes place in the real world so it is difficult to replicate in other

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in Social Skills by Annie Eskeldson

Having good manners is an important social skill everyone needs.  Most of us know that it’s not acceptable to push someone out of the way to get what we want, to cut in front of a line, to talk loudly on a cell phone during a movie, to talk with our mouths full, or to

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in Social Skills by Lori Granieri, MA

The relevance of social skills among autistic people cannot be overemphasized as it has enabled them to interact and be independent in society. It is crystal clear that contemporary society has failed to provide enough support for people with learning disability as most societal structures assume that everyone in the society is able, and in

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in Social Skills by Ayodeji Oyewale, MSc

Rick walks into his classroom, and he is angry.  He throws his backpack across the classroom while yelling that he is going to “mess up” Jeremy because Jeremy played his music too loudly on the bus.  His classmates look at him with fear in their eyes, and Twyla asks her teacher if Rick is going

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in Social Skills by Jamie Carter, MD

Welcome back to Social Skills Corner. For the July issue, we are going to describe ways you can help your child manage crowded events in general and July 4th celebrations, specifically.  We will begin with an example of what can occur if you and your family try to attend large events without adequate preparation. Mary

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in Social Skills by Jamie Carter, MD

Social skills are especially difficult for teens on the autism spectrum, but many of these skills can be learned, and with practice, can become habit.  Social skills are critical in order to make friends, get a job, and to live a fulfilling life.  Research from Harvard University says social skills are the top factor for

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in Social Skills by Kirt Manecke

Socializing forms a big part of our everyday lives. From exchanging polite conversation with strangers to cementing lasting relationships with our family and friends, the ability to talk and engage with our peers is an incredibly useful skill to have. But for those with autism, being social doesn’t always come naturally. Children usually pick up

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in Social Skills by Sam Flatman

Welcome to Social Skills Corner.  We have been working with families for many years.  Parents frequently express concerns about their children not having friends or not knowing how to interact with other people either individually or in groups.  We want you to be able to help your child to make friends and improve social interactions

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in Social Skills by Jamie Carter, MD

In this episode of Dr. G Aspie Show, Mary B. Moore teaches Dr. G some awesome social skills games. The key ingredient to developing and keeping friendships is having shared joy and conversation skills. These social skills games are great tools to help your child find shared joy with others and have a fun and

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in Social Skills by Southeast Psych

My brother, Christos, was diagnosed with autism when he was two. We grew up in Cyprus and our parents were extraordinary and even though no one prepares you for an autism diagnosis, they made it seem effortless. Living with autism is enthralling; so much so that the daily obstacles we encountered became our life. Nothing

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in Social Skills by Dora Perera

Many studies have been conducted on the positive effect a pet can have on your health.  A pet can be comforting if you are upset, they can lighten your mood as you play with them, and of course you have their companionship and unconditional love. Studies have also shown that pets can help improve social

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in Social Skills by Lisa Timms, MS