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social skills in teenagers with ASD - therapy pro ndis provider

Developing Social Skills in Teenagers with ASD

Social Skills in Teenagers: Why Are They Important?

Social skills in teenagers are essential tools for meaningful interactions across all settings—from home to school to the broader community. They form the foundation for building friendships, forming relationships, and participating in group activities. Every day, we utilise our social skills, whether ordering a coffee, chatting with a friend, or playing a team sport.

These skills encompass understanding and using appropriate body language and facial expressions, greeting others, initiating and maintaining conversations, turn-taking, asking questions, making comments, and comprehending humor and sarcasm.

The Challenge of Social Skills for Teenagers with ASD

Social skills difficulties can lead to frustration, exclusion, or isolation from peers, particularly during the teenage years when peer interactions become more complex and demanding. Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often face significant challenges in navigating these social waters due to their unique developmental paths.

Here at Therapy Pro our therapists can support families to enhance social skills in their teenagers. Our speech and language pathologists  identify and address the social skills difficulties and challenges faced by teenagers with ASD. Together, we develop a toolkit of strategies that can be practiced and applied in everyday settings like school and home.

Who Benefits from Support with Social Skills?

Everyone! Social skills evolve throughout our lives and become particularly crucial during adolescence. This period is marked by intricate verbal and nonverbal interactions, where failing to meet social expectations can significantly stand out. Group therapy sessions led by skilled therapists are an excellent method for teenagers with ASD to practice and enhance their social skills in a supportive environment.

Empowering Parents and Carers: How You Can Help

As a parent, carer, or educator working with a teenager facing social skills challenges, you can play a pivotal role:

  • Identify Specific Needs: Understand which social skills your teenager struggles with the most.
  • Observe and Learn: Take a moment to observe interactions in a busy place like a shopping center. Discuss and analyze these interactions with your teenager to focus on specific areas of improvement.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Engage in role-playing exercises to practice conversations and social interactions, staying on topic, and using appropriate questions and responses.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Offer praise when your teenager uses their social skills effectively, reinforcing good habits with phrases like “good question” or “great listening!”
  • Lead by Example: Demonstrate effective social skills as teenagers often emulate adult behaviors.
  • Patience is Key: Remember, developing social skills is a gradual process that requires time, practice, and confidence.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re looking to support a teenager with ASD in developing better social skills, contact us about one-on-one therapy sessions. Our tailored approaches help children of all ages navigate milestones like starting school and developing meaningful relationships with peers and family members. Our award-winning Therapy Pro for Kids team can support you no matter where you are in your journey navigating the NDIS.

Read our article on tips for supporting your ASD child during the holidays for more insights.

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