Without communication, navigating through life is going to be very difficult. Communication lies at the root of everything. You may need to spend extra time and attention teaching communication skills to teens on the spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder directly impacts one’s communication skills. Here are some ways in which you may notice your teen’s communication skills impacted:
- Teens with autism spectrum disorder may struggle with social isolation
- Your child may feel like they do not fit in
- Trouble creating relationships with peers
- Difficulty communicating needs to teachers
- Uncomfortableness with communication can leave teen subject to bullying
Get Your Teen Talking
As a parent, there are certain communication components that you should prioritize with your teen. Teaching communication skills to teens on the spectrum should be faced with the following priorities in mind:
- Help teens work out what other people are thinking and feeling
- understanding facial expressions and body language
- adjusting to new social situations
- solving social problems, like what to do when you disagree with someone
- understanding unwritten social rules
- sharing interests with other teenagers – their interests might be very specific, or related to things that usually appeal to younger children.
Building Social Skills
When working with your teen on communication skills, you should pay attention to the areas in which they struggle. Sit down and come up with a plan to best suit your teen and their needs. Here are some ideas on how to get started building your teen’s communication skills:
- Role-play. Setting up realistic scenarios for your teen is a good way to give them practice in handling certain social situations. Some examples of this include being in the lunch line, asking for what they want, and saying thank you or asking a classmate to come over to watch a movie.
- Utilize technology. TV programs and movies can be helpful in teaching your teen how to navigate social situations. You can watch something with them and pause and reflect on what happened and how it could have been handled differently. Focus on actions and consequences of those actions.
- Encourage social involvement. One of the best ways for your teen to learn is by putting them in social situation to practice their skills in. Look into resources in the community where your teen can get involved with other teens on the spectrum, share experiences and make friends. Gauge what they are comfortable with and help them seek out these sources.
Discover Seven Stars can help
Seven Stars is a residential treatment program for teens ages 13-17 struggling with neurodevelopmental and autism-related issues. The program provides acute care stabilization, residential treatment, academic programs, adventure-based therapy, skill building, and positive psychology. These various programs and therapies help students to improve their confidence, self-awareness, and personal management. Seven Stars provides students with individualized access to the resources they need to transition to the real-world practicing healthier habits and self-control. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 844-601-1167.
Since 2003, Dr. Gordon Day has passionately helped young people with a wide range of family, emotional, social, neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Gordon’s mission has been to help people find their strengths and their own passion for living a full and rewarding life. He is particularly sensitive to the pressures, frustrations and disappointments that adolescents face that can sometimes cause them and their loved ones to want to withdraw and throw their hands up in despair.
Dr. Day knows that you really have to understand where a student is coming from and understand their patterns of strengths and needs. When we truly know an individual and their struggles, only then can we truly help.
Dr. Day has pioneered the use of outdoor therapy activities and outdoor living as a dynamic and effective therapeutic tool for learning, confidence building and skill building. His programs provide effective, supportive and encouraging environments that help students find their strengths and power.