Center for child development

3 Ways to help children with autism make friends

Making friends is always a challenging task for kids, especially for children with special needs. Approaching people, getting to know them and becoming friends always include a bit of anxiety. However, this will become all the more difficult for children with any speech or behavioral development concerns. Since friends and friend-circles are what prepare the children to meet the growing need for social intelligence, combined efforts from parents and speech pathologists in Kochi are increasingly important.

As such, we have brought forth three points that will help the parents help children with autism make friends.

Help the children understand about friendship and friends:

It definitely sounds simple, we bet. However, starting anything from the basics is the best way to induce the type of learning we expect to deliver to children. The parents must be able to help the children understand who friends and bullies are and how they are different from each other. Have a conversation with the child asking if she/he would like to be with a kid who treats her/him nice or calls her/him names. Avoid going literal and explaining incomprehensible things about friends. Instead, get to the levels of the child and explain to her/him in ways they can understand.

Take your child to the world:

One of the most crucial aspects that decide the quality of the social interactions of the children is the fear associated with conversing and talking to others around them. This becomes extremely apparent in children who suffer from behavioral and language disabilities such as autism. We have observed quite a few times, when we talk about the same to parents of autistic children, they say that it puts the child under pressure and leads to meltdown and that they have witnessed the same a couple of times. While it is an understandable concern, may be the parents have to take it slow and steady. Real-life interactions and social encounters are imperative to help the child make friends and develop as a complete social animal.

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Find like-minded children for your friends:

People who have common interests can quickly become friends and so is the case with children with autism as well. If your child has a special affinity for anything, it is quite easy for you to introduce him or her to a group of children with similar interests. For example, if your child likes music, dance or chess, introduce her/him to a club that deals with the child’s area of interest. This can do great wonders for the development of your child’s social life.

If these aspects can be combined with the therapy sessions at a speech and language therapy center in Kaloor, the results can really be rewarding.