Social skills are critical to successful functioning in life. The ability to socialize appropriately will help with communication, behaviours, and adaptive skills that Turning Point staffs are trained in developing and supporting. Through unique programing and techniques, our professional staff steer children to:
Social responses include reacting to other people's social openings, which may include salutations, questions and offers to join in. Social initiations in individuals with ASD are generally weaker than social responses. Impairments in social skills include impairments in social initiations, which breaks down success to social openings and showing social understanding. Lack of these core competencies restrict social integration performance and can have a negative effect on how a person communicates with others in their environment.
Social skill programs are guided by a therapist under structured programing that helps generalise the skills learned one on one in therapy into community. This begins with highly reinforced interaction with the child’s therapists and moving to peers, small groups and then to larger groups. The eventual goal is consistent on going appropriate social behaviour and communication. Social skill is an essential part of a therapy program. A quality ABA/IBI program will look holistically at each learner and focus on all areas which are vital to their growth and development. Turning Point’s customized programs ensures that all of these required skills are targeted and developed using empirically validated methods in a developmentally appropriate manner under professional supervision.
Video modelling is an evidence-based prompting approach that can be used to enhance healthy behaviours in children with autism and to assist in skill acquisition. Research has widely accepted video learning as an important tool for children and adolescents with ASD to develop all kinds of skills, including social skills. Additionally, the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders has supported video modeling as an evidence-based method.
Children on the spectrum often struggle with new circumstances and appropriate social interactions in an unfamiliar environment. Role play in these situations helps to familiarize learners by providing them with language and behaviours to engage effectively in these situations thus increasing their success rates and confidence.
Social stories are short personalized narrations intended to educate (make familiar) children on the autism spectrum disorder appropriate social activities in various environments that could be difficult for the child. Training and practice with personal story helps with better regulation of behaviours thus enhancing social integration.
Since students with ASD usually have functional communication impairments, scripts are provided that are taught by reminding, reinforcing, and modelling. Once the learner is ready to use the script in their learning interactions, they are slowly faded until the student uses the scripted language outside of training in spontaneous environments. This process is called social scripting, and has been shown to be an effective treatment to increase social skills for ASD students.