Autistic children are incapable of acquiring the natural ability to interact and communicate with others that other children seem to be gifted with. Deliberate treatments and interventions are necessary to teach social skills to autistic kids. And the best way to teach such skills is to break them down into small achievable steps. However, parents and caregivers need to keep patience while teaching socially stimulating activities to autistic children and not coerce them into learning anything, as they may not respond to coercive tactics. In this article, we have listed some activities that will help autistic kids learn social skills and mingle better with other people.
Social Skill Activity Ideas For Autistic Kids
Read Them Social Stories
Stories have proved to be excellent tools for development of social skills in autistic children. Each social story should relate to a specific kind of interaction, intended to teach communication abilities to the child. For instance, an autistic child can learn ways to ask other playmates to play through stories that offer systematic instructions. In fact, this is the ideal approach to help such a child, as it encourages him to make use of his own skills and strengths.
Reinforcing object permanence in autistic kids is the aim of relational activities. These activities encourage such children to reference other people's faces. Modeling, face games, reading, musical instruments and board games are some of the interactive activities that prove useful. Modeling activities can include puppet shows that model social interactions. Face games teach an autistic child to remember other people's faces. Cause and effect activities can also be useful. For example, the child touches the nose or eyes of the parent and he/she sticks her tongue out. Board games prove to be very effective as they teach different skills, like listening skills and visual stimulation, at the same time.
Outdoor Games With Other Children
It's important to bring autistic children in contact with the other kids, so that they learn to develop some communication abilities. You can make them play simple childhood games. Games like tag or follow the leader can be very much fun for an autistic child and prove interactive as well. The best games for autistic kids don't require them to be in close and extended contact with other kids. Rather, the ones that focus on their own unique skills and give them comfort and confidence are more suited to them.
Safe Emergency Activities
Safe emergency activities are fun for autistic kids and educational at the same time. Such activities involve enacting the right procedure to cope up with emergency situations. The child should know how to act in an emergency. You can also teach him how to seek help in a dire situation, by innovating such games for him. The important aspect of this activity is to build a calm atmosphere around them and teach them not to panic in urgent situations. Take care that you don’t scare the child or internalize fear in his/her mind, while engaging in safe emergency activities.