Social Skills Training
Social skills training is a process that is constantly being utilized in an ABA setting. It’s something that can be taught in any given moment during a session, whether it be during a reinforcer break, walking the hallways to get to the therapy room, during a program and even when leaving a session. Social skills training is a process that eliminates the roadblocks your child may have in communicating with those around them.
Purpose of Social Skills Training
Children with Autism often times struggle with social skills, whether it be interacting with peers or saying “Hi” or “Bye” to people as they come and go, etc. Social skills training within ABA therapy can help remedy these deficiencies and improve your child’s ability to properly respond to social cues. The goal is to eliminate the inhibitors to your child’s communication and social presence.
How Social Skills Training Works
Properly greeting a person when they walk into a room or saying “Thank you” to someone who gives an item to your child doesn’t always come naturally. The good thing about these deficiencies is that the situations that they come up in are easily replicated and also occur naturally quite a bit throughout any given day. This means that there will be ample opportunity to teach your child. Through different types of prompting, we can naturally encourage this communication with your child. For example, let’s say a person observing your child working with a therapist gets up to leave the room. Before they leave, the therapist can naturally say to your child “oh, it looks like Dr. Jacob is heading out now. Bye Dr. Jacob!” This would be a cue for your child to also say “Bye Dr. Jacob!” If your child doesn’t respond to this cue, a more intrusive cue can be used such as stating “Dr. Jacob is leaving, say ‘Bye Dr. Jacob’” The goal would be to eventually expose your child to these teachable moments as much as possible so that they will be able to independently say goodbye to people leaving a room.