SST is often associated with the fields of applied behavior analysis (ABA), special education, cognitive-behavior therapy, and relationship-based therapy. The goal of STT is to modify the autistic child’s behavior and communication to “fit in” more with neurotypical peers.
Your child may be taught how to start and maintain conversations, interpret non-verbal cues, understand neurotypical social norms, and manage social interactions in a typical way. While many autistic people have found STT to be harmful, others feel they have benefitted from learning how to “mask” their autistic traits.
SST uses evidence-based techniques to modify your child’s social skills. Here are some key components:
Structured learning: Your child will receive instructions and participate in activities that help them understand and practice social skills in a supportive environment.
Visual supports: Visual aids, social stories, and visual schedules can make it easier for your child to understand social expectations and routines.
Role-playing and modeling: Your child will practice social behaviors, conversation skills, and problem-solving techniques through role-playing exercises.
Peer interaction: Your child will have the chance to interact with peers through group activities, games, and projects. These will help them make social connections and learn how to work as a team.
Emotional regulation: Your child will learn strategies to recognize and express their emotions, develop self-control skills, and handle anxiety or sensory challenges.
Generalization: To apply the skills learned in real-life situations, your child may go on outings, trips, and participate in community activities outside of the structured setting.
Social skills are the skills we use every day to communicate and interact with those around us. They can be verbal and non-verbal. They include speech, facial expressions, and body language.
Not only do social skills impact the way your child interacts with the world around them. Social skills also play a crucial role in a child's development.
For kids with special needs, social interactions can be tough. Their unique way of communicating may not always be well received by others. Certain social norms exist, like making eye contact, are uncomfortable for autistic people. Improved social skills not only enhance their ability to form meaningful connections and friendships but their emotional well-being and self-esteem.
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differences, anxiety and other developmental concerns.