If you’re the parent of an autistic child, there are effective ways to help your son or daughter learn social cues. Learning these social cues can help your child connect more with people. It can also help establish better personal and professional relationships as they get older. Following these four tips can give your child the right guidance to learn better social cues.
Practice Making Eye Contact
Maintain good eye contact when interacting with a person is one of the best ways to learn social cues. You should encourage your son or daughter to look at you continuously when the two of you talk. Maintaining good eye contact is also a great way for your child to learn facial expressions that often indicate social cues that they should follow. Be patient with your child, this kind of social interaction may not come naturally to them.
Use Picture Cards
Picture cards that feature images and captions are great for teaching children with autism how to behave socially. Cards that show commands of when to stop talking, share certain items or help with particular tasks can be useful training aids that instill good habits in your child. In addition to being wonderful teaching tools, picture cards can be fun. They make your son or daughter feel as though they’re playing a game while learning.
Don’t Be Afraid to Discipline
Autism and discipline can often present a challenging balancing act. However, using effective discipline strategies when your child misbehaves can help them establish better social behaviors. Your son or daughter will learn better social cues and how to correct certain unacceptable behaviors with the right approach for disciplining. If you choose to prohibit your child from playing with certain toys or engaging in certain activities as a form of discipline, you should still try to be gentle in your approach and be consistent in your methods. It’s always good to focus on the positive instead of the negative. You want your child to behave better instead of feeling discouraged.
Modern technology has made it possible for autistic children to learn social cues better through video games and other computer programs. Certain programs can teach youngsters how to recognize emotions, facial expressions and voice tones in other people. Some programs even include animated series that are both educational and fun to follow.
Teaching your child the importance of recognizing social cues from an early age will help them adapt more easily to society. Using a variety of training strategies can be effective in instilling good social habits that will benefit your son or daughter for life.