Social interactions can be challenging for all children, but for children with autism, it can be extremely difficult and stressful because autism affects communication skills. However, your child can improve communication skills with the right support, validation, and reinforcement! You should always support your child so they refrain from isolating or feeling left out.
Here are a few ways to help your autistic child socialize and show off their beautiful personality and funny jokes!
Sign Them Up for Clubs
Like all kids, children with autism must interact with their peers to further develop their social skills. However, too many unfamiliar interactions can overwhelm them and trigger a meltdown. Sign up your child for clubs or organizations of interest to socialize with like-minded peers.
Take Advantage of Technology
Advanced technology offers many free speech and socialization programs. Tablets and mobile devices offer autistic children opportunities to practice speech by compensating with text-to-speech. Your child can use this to communicate and learn how to sound out words.
Play Improv Popcorn
To play popcorn, begin telling a story or talking about your day. When you’re finished, toss a bean bag to the person you want to speak next. This helps your child understand non-verbal cues and gives them the floor to communicate freely. You can even do this with made-up, silly stories! Like acting exercises, you can role-play and act out social interactions by tossing the bean bag back and forth as the story unfolds.
Get Your Child a Pet
Many behavioral research and studies have concluded that pets are a major help for autistic children. Pets provide the opportunity to form genuine emotional bonds and expressions. Getting a pet is a great way to help your child with autism socialize because they can share stories about their pet with their peers or school teacher.