skip to main content
Therapeutic Activities for Autistic Children, Part 2: Social Skills

Therapeutic Activities for Autistic Children, Part 2: Social Skills

Monday, May 01, 2023

In the US, one out of every 59 students suffers from autism. Because of this, it's crucial to acquire the skills necessary to work with autistic students. Teaching students with special needs communication skills and study techniques is essential. By filling the gap with therapeutic activities, we can make sure that these kids succeed both in and out of the classroom.

In our previous chapter, we went over some effective therapeutic activities for children that focus on sensory engagement. In part two, we will explore some of the most effective social activities for children with autism that work for all ages!

Building Social Skills with Autistic Students

One of the more common characteristics of students with autism is trouble communicating or connecting with their classmates. These children have plenty of other wonderful qualities to offer; however, the nature of the disability can sometimes preclude them from establishing meaningful social interactions. 

While this is the case, you should not give up, as these social skills can be modeled through activities that autistic children can engage in. 

1. Staring Contest

Autistic children often have a hard time maintaining eye contact due to stress attributed to their disability. To help children with this issue, making things into a game can be super helpful. Staring contests are a great way to gradually increase their ability to maintain eye contact, which can open them up to other social skills. 

One way to help relieve some of the stress of a staring contest is to place a pair of sticker eyes on your forehead and encourage them to stare at them instead of your real eyes. This is a good way to remove the awkwardness and train your child to look at a person's face when they are engaging in conversation.

2. Face Games

Just because a child has autism doesn't mean they aren't looking for a fun time. One great way to teach social skills is through face games! 

Pretend that your child is in an acting class, and make faces back and forth at each other. Even though this may seem silly, this is a great way to model different emotions that are hard to read with autism.

3. Icebreaker Games

Breaking the ice in a new social group can be tough for children with autism. This social activity will allow children to introduce themselves all at the same time. 

To play, gather everyone in a circle so that they can see each other. Start by saying your name and pointing at yourself. Move along around the circle until everyone else has introduced themselves.

4. Emotion Cards

Children with autism often struggle with understanding emotions from a sensory perspective. This can lead to a lot of awkward encounters. One way to help children recognize different expressions is by using emotion cards. 

To play emotion card games, print out emotion flashcards that show:

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Excited
  • Angry
  • Afraid
  • Surprised
  • Tired
  • Embarrassed
  • Worried
  • Shy
  • Lonely
  • Sorry
  • Curious
  • Bored

To help move the game along, feel free to explain the emotions if a child gets stuck.

5. Role Play

Role Playing is another great way to help introduce new social skills to your child who isn't ready to interact with others. To initiate role-playing, act out a familiar scene and discuss with your child how they can handle each situation, especially if they are stress-inducing. This will help prepare the child for uncomfortable situations that they may encounter.

6. Video Modelling

Videos are a great way to teach social skills to a child. Find videos of situations that your child feels uncomfortable about and show them. Give them a chance to observe what happens and ask them about it. 

Point out the different social cues and facial expressions of the people in the video. This will help your child get comfortable with a situation before they have to experience it.

7. Sharing Time

Sharing time is a great tool to use as part of social-emotional learning. This technique gives children a chance to share something special with their class. It can help autistic children learn to show interest and practice active listening while also opening them up to share as well.

8. Be an Example

One of the most important ways to help a child is to set an example. Because children with autism understand the norms of social skills, being a positive example in everyday life can help them better understand. 

Go out of your way to engage with people and be friendly. This will be a great model for your child to mimic, which they will over time. The more you do this with them, the more they will be comfortable in social situations.

Help Your Child Thrive at Ignite Achievement Academy 

There are numerous creative approaches to incorporating social activities into your child's daily life. These social therapeutic activities can help your child improve his or her behavior, social skills, and motor function. 

Look no further than Ignite Achievement Academy if you are seeking a school that actively includes activities for autistic children in their daily routines. We will create a highly tailored learning experience for your kid by leveraging the school's committed team of teachers, teaching assistants, and administrators. 

At Ignite Achievement Academy, your child will benefit from a safe and supportive learning atmosphere that is designed to help them succeed. The school offers several specialized programs and services to help your child's intellectual, social, and emotional development.

If you have a child with autism, we encourage you to take action and learn more about Ignite Achievement Academy. Contact us to schedule a visit or speak with our admissions staff to learn more about how your child might benefit from this fantastic educational experience.

If you act now, you can provide your child with the skills and support they need to fulfill their full potential and succeed in life.