Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) develop social skills differently from their peers. They are unlikely to easily understand the social behaviour of others, or to develop new social skills without assistance. As a result, students with ASD require clear teaching of social skills. The development of these skills should be addressed formally through the student’s individual learning plan, and also as opportunities are presented throughout the school day. Students with ASD require clear, matter-of-fact instruction in social skills. However, teaching your student how to use a particular social skill is not sufficient.
Students with ASD also need support to:
Students with ASD may require different kinds of social support as they grow older.
While some students with ASD struggle with the social world from an early age, others may manage social interactions in the early years of school, when the social rules are more straightforward. As these students grow older and the level of social complexity increases, they may find it increasingly difficult to develop age-appropriate social skills and maintain friendships.
For more information on how to support the development of social skills, see the section on teaching social skills.