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Autism and Social Interaction
A attribute of autism usually described is a potential impairment in social interaction. Nevertheless, parents generally get confused in regards to the importance of a child having social interaction with same age peers. As a school psychologist, I have seen many eventualities of how mother and father interpret social interaction as it pertains to autism.
Dad and mom typically describe a child as having loads of interaction with a brother or sister. However, this is limited because the sibling could overcompensate for the child he or she knows so well. The sibling many give the toy or item earlier than the child even has to ask. In other cases, the sibling could give his or her meals to a crying child without any type of social communication required. A sibling will also be aggressive taking the child's toy and running away earlier than the child with possible autism can even respond. A sibling might start talking and answering for the child which does not facilitate the social interplay of the child. If attainable, mother and father should seek to provide a wide range of play experiences that reach beyond sibling play.
Older Children Interaction
Mother and father sometimes describe that a child only wants to play with older children. The issues arise for children with autism when the older child initiates more of the play experiences and social interaction. The older child might set up the 'play school' by organizing the supplies, teaching the lesson, handing out the papers and giving social praise. Nevertheless, the young child could only reply or not reply within the play experiences. The child with autism is probably not provided enough play experiences and opportunities to initiate the social interaction.
I once heard a parent describe the social interaction for a child with autism and all the interplay described was with adults. Sure, I have seen this many occasions with an only child who interacts with mother, dad and a grandparent. Nonetheless, I have also heard of too much interplay with adult therapists. I heard one mother or father suggest that she didn't need a preschool program for the child because the child would miss out on the entire therapy. A child with autism may be receiving individual remedy with an adult physical therapist, an adult occupational therapist, an adult speech therapist and an adult behavior therapist. The problem with this approach is that the child is only socially interacting and speaking with adults and lacking out on the important social skills that can be learned from same age peers.
Ways to Improve Social Interaction with Friends
-Consider recreation center camps and lessons which are age based mostly where the child can be taught new things and enjoyable learning activities from friends who are close to his or her age.
-Let the child explore interactive lessons which are taught by adults, but the place the child has practical experiences with peers. Swimming lessons or dance lessons provide a pleasant introduction for younger children to learn a new skills and observe and interact with peers who are learning the same new skill.
-Club or social group interaction can provide many similar age experiences for young children. Children attending varied clubs can watch different children showing and demonstrating the use of objects. Different young children could deliver an item to a younger child with autism and wait for a response. A child might want to point out something in the room for an additional child to look at or respond to within the play or group area.
-Finally parents should not forget the significance of providing healthy social interplay experiences for young children with autism. Any social interaction opportunity that provides the child with autism time to improve communication with others and interplay in a social atmosphere may be positive and rewarding for the child to study new social skills.
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