Questions? 866-352-5010

ABA Therapy

Making Friends With ABA: Socialization In And Out Of Therapy

This blog article is part of a series dedicated to Autism Awareness Month. To read the previous article in the series, click here!

As children with autism progress through ABA therapy, they encounter all sorts of opportunities to practice and master new skills. Since most children with ASD have some level of difficulty with social communication and interaction, many ABA therapy providers incorporate group and socialization activities into their programming. Of course, building social skills requires a lot of practice and patience. This is why it’s often recommended that parents look for creative ways to bring socialization into their children’s normal routine.

Why Is Socialization So Difficult for Children with ASD?

Research into the effects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on human development has found that autism is almost always characterized by “deficits in two core domains: deficits in social communication and social interaction, and restricted repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities,” noted one study published in the Universal Journal of Educational Research. While severity and disruption vary between individuals, social skill development is a common challenge for children and adults diagnosed with ASD.

Some parents of special needs children struggle with finding others who can get it and who truly understand their kids’ needs. Luckily, there are now more resources than ever to help parents find groups of people who are also raising a child with autism or special needs. This can help children with autism foster closer bonds with others their age and socialize outside of ABA therapy.

Utilize Your BCBA’s Knowledge

A great resource to refer to about social skill practice is your Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Oftentimes, BCBAs work with many families in an area and are more than willing to help these families connect. BCBAs often have many insights into local support groups. The internet can be a great resource to find support as well, whether in-person or online.

National and local state organizations can also help connect families (see below for a list of national autism associations). Even searching Facebook for local groups of parents who have children with autism can turn up useful results. Many parents are open to sharing materials, forming community groups, and meeting up with others who can better understand their situation and help their child with ASD form social bonds with peers.

Social Skills Groups (SSGs)

Applied ABC does its best to connect families and train them on how to work on social skills outside of ABA Therapy. In many locations with high client volume, we provide Social Skills Group classes (SSG – Home with Me). This is a free opportunity for families who use our services to host or attend social groups in a small home-based setting, guided by an RBT/ABA tech. In general, children tend to pick up social skills naturally and over time. However, children with autism often struggle to develop these skills, leading to alienation within peer groups.

Our Social Skill Groups focus on building core skills in small groups to help children with autism be more independent and thrive in social settings. We provide support for improving communication and sensory integration and incorporate real-world scenarios into our SSG lessons. In turn, this will help improve children with autism’s cognitive and language abilities in a structured and safe environment. The other students in the group will also have ASD and likely be able to relate more to their classmates. If you are interested in joining an SSG group, please contact your case manager.

Ask Questions!

As a parent, do not be afraid to ask questions. Utilize parent training to learn how to best support your child in social situations. Organizations that support families with children who have special needs are happy to help. In addition, Applied ABC, your BCBA, and your case manager are all a phone call or email away. Here are a few other resources that can help you get started:

National Autism Association

The NAA is an advocate and resource group that focuses on the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential. NAA provides free resources, toolkits, webinars, and up-to-date blog posts.

Autism Speaks Autism Response Team

The Autism Response Team (ART) is specially trained to connect people with autism, their families, and caregivers to information, tools, and resources. ART specializes in helping families find local services.

The Arc: Autism Now

A quality resource and information center for individuals with autism and their families. They provide informational blogs about numerous topics, including employment, relationships, education, and social interaction.

Asperger/Autism Network

AANE provides individuals, families, and professionals information as well as resources to help people with autism build meaningful and connected lives. They strive to provide an inclusive and respectful atmosphere to everyone they serve. Browse through their website to find information on various subjects, such as education, community, support, and advocacy.

My Autism Team

My Autism Team is a free social network that helps its users get emotional support from others who are in a similar situation. Whether you or a loved one are diagnosed with autism, My Autism Team is filled with practical advice and insights for managing therapies for autism. There are also plenty of resources, tips, and referrals from great doctors on the site. Join to share your story and connect with people like you.

Family Voices

 A national, family-led organization for people who have children or youth with special needs. Their focus is to promote partnership with families at all levels of health care to improve services for children. Family Voices seeks to empower families of diverse backgrounds to become their self-advocates, and their website is chock-full of resources to help out.

Applied ABC

Applied ABC offers at-home and in-center ABA therapy for children diagnosed with autism, with a focus on individualized treatment planning and support. Along with our direct ABA therapy services, we also offer parents 100% free training on autism, ABA techniques, and how to practice ABA lessons at home.

To learn more about our ABA therapy services, fill out our online ABA assessment or reach out to an Applied ABC team member today!

This blog article is part of a series dedicated to Autism Awareness Month. To read the next article in the series, click here! 


Other articles

ABA Therapy Basics

Examples Of ABA Therapy

How ABA Therapy Works At Applied ABC

Thank you for contacting us!

Thank you for referring!

temp content

temp content

temp content
temp content
temp content