Teens living on the autism spectrum may experience more challenges when it comes to social navigation. As a parent you may find that your teen has difficulty reading others’ emotions, knowing how to respond, and transitioning from one topic to another. The social skills that your teen may struggle with may be more extensive and complex than the ones listed. It’s true that no individual is the same when it comes to living on the spectrum and every person endures social situations differently. The good news is there are ways you can help your teen learn to cope with their emotions and navigate their social lives more independently. Social skills training is extremely beneficial for giving teens guidance towards a healthy and happy social life.

Training Methods

Social skills training will likely vary based off of the individual’s unique needs. A general focus of social skills training is working on communication. Conversational skills for different situations and improving the ability to perceive social cues are also of importance during this type of training. Some practices that may be emphasized during social skills training can include the following:

  • instruction
  • modeling
  • role-playing
  • shaping
  • feedback
  • reinforcement of positive interactions 

Prepping for Social Skills Training

Before one begins social skills training, a therapist’s role is very important. Sometimes teens will not respond well to being told they need social training. The situation should be confronted with care. The selection of suitable target behaviors is also a crucial part of training preparation. One-on-one time with a therapist is important for these things:

  • Establishing individuals social strengths and weaknesses
  • Discussing things they would like to work on
  • Figuring out what triggers certain behaviors
  • Understanding their current social tactics

The need for follow-up support after initial training may be necessary. Talk with your child’s therapist about this to create a plan in which they will have the most long-term benefits.

Seven Stars can help

Seven Stars is a residential treatment program for young men and women ages 13-17 struggling with neurodevelopmental issues such as autism and ADHD. 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.