• How ABA Can Help Your Child Build Better Social Skills

    Children with autism often have difficulty with social situations, such as meeting new friends or managing the nuances of conversations. These challenges can become increasingly difficult to cope with as the child grows older and enters school. But there is hope. Children who receive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can acquire the social skills they’ll need to succeed, both in school and in life. Talk to your child’s ABA therapist about how you can implement evidence-based ABA techniques at home to help your child master social skills. 

    The Importance of Mastering Social Skills 

    Social skills are comprised of the customary behaviors and rules that inform a person’s interactions with others. Social skills are generally absorbed the same way that language is. Young children learn them by observing the people around them. However, children with autism may need extra help to learn social skills. It’s critically important to begin teaching these skills as early as possible. When children have difficulties with social skills, they can become easily frustrated, and this can lead to undesirable behaviors and social isolation. Furthermore, every child needs healthy friendships for emotional wellness. 

    The Role of ABA Therapy 

    ABA techniques are evidence-based and time-tested. ABA therapy is a way to replace undesirable behaviors with desired ones, and to teach important skills like those that govern social interactions. For instance, your child’s therapist may recommend enrolling him or her in a social skills group. This is an ABA therapy group in which children interact with their peers in an environment that is carefully monitored and facilitated by the therapist. After the therapist teaches a social skill to the child, such as initiating a conversation or taking turns, the child has the opportunity to master that skill through practice with his or her peers. 

    Autism can bring many challenges to your family, but we are here to help. The highly trained and compassionate behavior analysts at The Behavior Exchange can put together a personalized plan to help your child—and your whole family—overcome challenges related to autism. Call our ABA center in Plano or Frisco at 972.312.8733 and ask us about our social skills groups. 

  • What can parents do to support healthy friendships for their children?

    All children deserve to experience the joy of friendship. However, some children have more trouble than others making and keeping friends. In particular, kids with autism may be unsure of how to communicate and interact with their peers. If your child has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or another developmental difference, one of the most effective things you can do to encourage social skills is to have your child work with an ABA therapist. In addition, consider incorporating the following strategies. 

    Get involved from an early age. 

    As children grow older, friendships become more important to them. However, older children are also less likely to talk to their parents about their friends. It’s important to establish active involvement from an early age to set the stage for your child’s preteen and adolescent years. Actively monitor your young child’s play dates. Provide guidance on social skills and correct inappropriate behaviors when necessary. Encourage open communication with your child. Talk to your child often about his or her friends, and make an effort to get better acquainted with those friends and their parents. 

    Help your child resolve conflicts peacefully. 

    Whenever two people are close to each other, a conflict will inevitably arise at some point. The conflict itself is not necessarily what’s primarily damaging to the friendship. Rather, the way in which the two friends manage the conflict will determine whether the friendship survives. Talk to your child’s ABA therapy provider if your child seems to have trouble handling conflict. It can be helpful to teach your child to take a deep breath and walk away to calm down before addressing the situation. Additionally, kids need to learn how to see things from the other person’s perspective. They also need to learn how to make amends, such as by apologizing. 

    Children with developmental differences can learn to make and keep friends in our Social Skills group at The Behavior Exchange. Our ABA centers in Frisco and Plano help children understand how to behave appropriately and give them opportunities to master their new skills. Call us at 888.716.8084, and be sure to ask us about our parent training classes! 

  • Spotlight on Our Social Skills Groups

    For children with autism, developing friendships and relating with peers is not always easy. At The Behavior Exchange, our Social Skills Groups can help. In our groups, school-aged children get the opportunity to work on creating and maintaining relationships with kids their own age. This group is designed for children with autism who are in school and doing fine academically but having difficulties in social situations.  

    Within our Social Skills Groups, we put children together based on their ages, skills, and needs. There are groups available for children who are just learning the basics about social skills and those who are advanced but need more confidence. Within their groups, they will have a chance to play games, practice conversation, and engage in other age-appropriate activities together, all under the guidance of ABA therapists.  

    Could the Social Skills Group at The Behavior Exchange be right for your child with autism in Plano? Find out more about all of our programs by calling (888) 716-8084.

  • Supporting Your Child’s Social Skills Development

    Autism can sometimes interfere with a child’s ability to make friends and feel comfortable interacting with others. Every child deserves to feel confident in social situations, as social interactions and emotional wellness are closely intertwined. With plenty of patience and persistence—and the help of autism therapy —parents can help their children develop strong social skills.

    Modeling Social Behavior

    Children are natural sponges—they learn by observing what other people do. However, children with autism often require some explanations of why people do and say certain things. After you model appropriate social behavior during an interaction with someone, you can help your child understand what happened. Hypothetically, you’re in a checkout lane at the supermarket with your child. The cashier compliments your earrings. You’ll probably smile, say “Thank you,” and then compliment the cashier’s necklace. Afterward, you can tell your child that smiling and thanking the cashier was a polite thing to do. Giving the cashier a compliment in return helped the cashier feel good about herself.

    Using Social Stories

    Talk to your child’s ABA therapist about using social stories. These stories depict people in specific social situations. They also explain what to do in these situations. For instance, a social story might depict a child playing by himself, with two other children nearby. The solo child could approach the two friends to ask if he can join in on their activity.

    Using Roleplay

    Roleplay is a fun way for your child to practice the skills he or she learns in ABA therapy. It can also help your child learn to perceive scenarios from the viewpoints of other people. Some scenarios to roleplay could include how to respond when asked to share a toy, how to raise a hand in a classroom to get the teacher’s attention, and how to use an indoor voice in the library.

    The Behavior Exchange invites parents to explore the social skills groups available at our ABA school in the DFW area. We maintain a positive, supportive environment, where children can build strong friendships and develop self-confidence. Get in touch at (888) 716-8084.

  • Examining the Benefits of Our Social Skills Classes

    Many children with autism have difficulty with interpersonal relationships and socially appropriate behaviors. Here at The Behavior Exchange, we firmly believe that every child has the right to enjoy social experiences. Our autism treatment center encourages parents to enroll their children in our social skills groups. Here, your child will have the benefit of meaningful and lasting friendships. As children with autism gain positive experiences with their peers and our staff members, they grow in self-esteem and self-confidence.

    Our social skills groups provide a fun setting for children to participate in structured activities and social skills lessons. These activities effectively guide children in learning how to get to know each other and how to work together cooperatively. The social skills groups also encompass academic enrichment, gaming activities, and friendship skills.

    To reserve a spot for your child in our social skills group , call The Behavior Exchange at (888) 716-8084. Our ABA schools are conveniently located in the DFW area.