As children become teenagers, they begin to learn the social rules of adult culture, in addition to the even more complicated social rules of teenagers. The subtle nuances of what is or is not socially acceptable, along with the sometimes difficult consequences of breaking those rules, can be a mystery to the teen who deals with autism. Helping these teens navigate the complex ocean of societal expectations prepares them for functioning in a world that often doesn’t make sense to them. When it comes to developing useful social skills for teens with autism, practice makes perfect.
Why Autism Can Make Social Situations Difficult
Due to their disability, teens with autism often do not pick up on things that more mainstream teens may quickly comprehend. Understanding the meaning of facial expressions, body language, or understanding what someone else is thinking is more difficult for the autistic teen who tends to see things in a literal way. Sarcastic humor may be alien to them, and not getting the joke can set them up for situations in which they feel humiliated. Additionally, depending on their developmental stage, an autistic teen may or may not share the interests of other teenagers.
Basic Social Skills for Teens with Autism
To learn to deal with social situations, it’s good to start teens with autism off with some basic skills. The basics of good manners are a great place to start. Just learning to say “hello” and to smile and be friendly is a door opener. Being well-groomed and dressing neatly also helps. To deal with more complex social situations, autistic teens can watch television shows or videos in which the characters handle a variety of situations and then can be given an opportunity to ask questions. Alternatively, teens can practice role-playing with other teens or with adults.
Call to Learn More About Developing Social Skills for Teens with Autism Today
If you have a teen with autism and would like to learn more about how teens with autism can be helped to develop social skills, contact the Valley Socials Program of Woodland Hills, California. We serve teens with autism with our useful programs and are based in Woodland Hills, also serving Encino, Calabasas, Tarzana, and Sherman Oaks. Call us at (818) 650-0889 and let us answer your questions today.