Strengthening social skills: Guidance for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Here are some expert tips for navigating the evolving process of developing social skills in children with autism, which can be quite challenging.

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The cause of Autism, a complex neurological condition impacting brain development, remains largely unknown. However, it is believed to have a genetic component, especially evident in cases where children have siblings with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While genetics play a role, there are various other factors contributing to ASD, and understanding these factors and their effects on communication skills, social perception, and overall development is an ongoing challenge in the field.

Children with Autism can exhibit a wide range of symptoms, with some showing early signs while others manifest symptoms as they grow older. Stress is a common experience for many autistic children, often stemming from difficulties in daily activities or communication challenges. This stress can sometimes lead to disruptive behaviours, underscoring the importance of creating a supportive and safe environment for these children to thrive.

Dr. Prarthana Karumbaiah K, a Developmental Paediatrician and associate professor at Ramaiah Memorial Hospital in Bangalore, explained the significance of social skills in children with Autism. She highlighted the struggle these children face in developing social interactions and communication across various contexts, impacting their ability to form relationships with family members and peers.

Building social skills in children with Autism is an ongoing and challenging process, evolving as the child matures. Dr. Prarthana Karumbaiah K recommended strategies such as role-playing, engaging in cooperative play activities, and using social stories introduced by Carol Gray. These methods aim to help children with Autism learn how to interact, manage emotions, and navigate social situations effectively, enhancing their overall quality of life and integration into society.

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