Social Skills Programs for Autism

Autism Social Skills Program

Most children and adolescents on the autism spectrum have a difficult time understanding and using social skills. They do not naturally learn to respond to social cues, making the social world feel like a foreign country where everyone but them has a map. Because we often expect even typically developing people to naturally pick up on social cues, we rarely stop and think about how to teach social skills to people with autism. Social skills include everything from joint attention and greetings to understanding the theory of mind and feelings. Social skills also teach basic social rules (e.g., how to be polite) and general social/behavioral expectations at home, in school, at recess, etc. These skills will have a large impact on a person’s life. Social skills, or the lack thereof, can affect the ability of a person with autism to make and maintain friendships, participate in classrooms, get jobs, etc.

At Trumpet Behavioral Health, we believe people who have difficulty with social skills can be taught in one-on-one or group teaching formats. The autism social skills teaching plan is built on a close working relationship between parents/caregivers and the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). This team works together to identify key skills for intervention. Assessments like the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) and Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised (ABLLS-R) can be used to help develop an autism social skills teaching plan. Once the necessary skills are identified, the team can determine the most appropriate place for intervention to occur. Trumpet Behavioral Health offers social skills groups, works with community organizations to include our clients in social settings (e.g., sports, clubs), and also works with school teams to develop social teaching opportunities during the school day.

Trumpet Behavioral Health uses several strategies in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to promote skills among people with autism, including:

  • Modeling
  • Differential Reinforcement
  • Social Stories
  • Role Playing
  • Behavioral Scripts
  • Specific Social Skills Curriculum (e.g., “SuperFlex”)