Research has long shown that autism and anxiety are linked. Autism is often defined by a lack of social skills–and a recent study has connected difficulty with social skills to a higher chance of developing anxiety.
When a student struggles with social skills, it can be difficult to form meaningful connections to others and cause places with people to be a source of anxiety.
How social skills, autism, and anxiety interlink
When it comes to high functioning autism, a student may be thriving academically but floundering socially. Socializing is a critical component to forming a healthy sense of self and self esteem.
A large issue is that teachers in traditional schools have a hard time figuring out when these students are struggling because they usually do well on paper.
Every parent dreams that their child will be a social butterfly and make friends instantly–but this isn’t always the case. Socializing with others may be a source of stress for your child, which is where autism and anxiety connect. If they struggle to read situations well, it can cause anxiety to form.
It’s not uncommon for parents of teens with autism to not realize they’re struggling with a type of anxiety as well. Teens with autism often keep things to themselves and have issues expressing their emotions–which means that if they’re having a difficult time making friends or even getting bullied at school, they may never say anything unless you dig.
Study shows lack of social skills may drive anxiety
In a recent study, researchers found that struggling with social skills may directly cause anxiety–but anxiety may not cause issues with social skills. This isn’t necessarily in children with autism, but it would make sense because of the connection between autism and anxiety.
Those with autism frequently deal with anxiety as a result of sensory overload–and issues with social skills. This helps us understand the connection between autism and anxiety better which can lead to more effective, efficient methods of treatment when it comes to helping individuals with autism.
Seven Stars is here for your family
Seven Stars is a program that treats teens with neurodevelopmental disorders. We combine residential treatment with adventure therapy to create a multifaceted, effective program for adolescents, ages 13 to 18, struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder.
We embed the objectives we have for each student into daily activities and teach emotional wellness skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, social skills, academic skills, self-efficacy and prosocial behaviors. At Seven Stars, we strive to help our students develop the skills necessary to live full, productive lives.
For more information about how we help with autism and anxiety at Seven Stars, contact us today 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.