The world around us is not percepted for all of the people the same way. Autistic children are one of those who percept the world a lot more different than others do. What we have to do in this case is try to find the wayof communication of our and their understanding. And for that the education of autistic children is a must.
Classes about thoughts and feelings
Recognizing and understanding thoughts and feelings, both one’s own and others, is often hard of children with autism, and it is necessary for successful communication. For example, we constantly change our behavior according to the non-verbal feedback that we receive from other people. We can continue the story if the other person is smiling, looking expectantly or showing other signs of genuine interest. On the other hand, if a person looks at the clock all the time, sighs, looks the other way, we, probably, will shorten our story. Children with autism often have difficulty in recognizing and understanding these non-verbal signals. Because of this, it is more difficult for them to modify their behavior to respond to the emotional and mental needs of others.
The simplest activity about thoughts and feelings includes showing the child pictures with different expressions of emotions. Pictures can range from the most basic ones, such as happy, sad, angry or scared to more complex emotions, such as embarrassed, bashful, nervous or incredulous. Begin with a request to the child to show emotion, then ask to identify the child, what the character feels (“what does he feel?”).
The method of social stories is often used in teaching social skills of children with disabilities. Social stories are an unobtrusive way to explain to children social concepts and rules in the form of a short history. This strategy can be used to train a variety of social and behavioral concepts, such as crossing the street, participating in the game and traveling out of town.
Role Play / Behavioral Rehearsal
Role games and behavioral rehearsals are used, first of all, for teaching basic communication skills. This is an effective approach for teaching social skills, which allows for the positive practice of these skills. Role-playing games include playing situations or activities in a structured environment to try out in practice new skills and strategies or skills that were acquired earlier, in which the child has difficulty in using. Role-playing games can follow the script or be spontaneous. In the second case, the child is described a situation (for example, ask another child to play with him), but no specific scenario is given. For example, an autistic child may be given a question or a first sentence, but the rest of the conversation should be spontaneous.
Video modeling is, without a doubt, one of the most effective strategies for teaching social skills. Video modeling involves viewing a demonstration of some behavior on the video and then repeating the behavior of the model. In the video simulation can participate peers, adults or the child himself (video-samomodelirovanie). Video self-modeling can be used to acquire skills, improve the use of skills and reduce problem behavior. It combines a powerful learning tool for a child with autism (visual instructions) with an effective method of intervention (modeling).
After you have evaluated the social functioning and selected the skills for training, a distinction was drawn between the lack of mastery of the skill and the lack of use of the skill and chose the method of intervention, it’s time to start correcting. Social skills training should take place in different places and by different instructors. There is no “best” place for social skills training, although it is important to keep in mind that the goal of any socialization education is to enable the child to be socially successful with his peers in the natural environment. Essentially, if a child is taught social skills in the resource class of the school (or with the help of a private therapist), there must be a plan to transfer these skills from the resource class to the natural environment. Parents and teachers should look for opportunities to support and encourage skills that the child is taught in a resource class or correctional center.