International Meeting for Autism Research (London, May 15-17, 2008): Social Skill training for autistic children with Family

Social Skill training for autistic children with Family

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Champagne Terrace/Bordeaux (Novotel London West)
W. Rattanasatien , Public of Mental Health, Yuwaprasart child and adolescent psychiatric hospital, Samutprakarn, Thailand
Background: One of the most significant problems for people on the autism spectrum is difficulty in social interaction because of problems with speech, language and mind reading. Not only a group for social skills training has been established for autistic children and adults, but social skills teaching should also be implemented for parents to support them to “do it by themselves”.
Objectives: This preliminary project is a qualitative study aimed to train caregivers to counter and independently establish social skills methods which support their children to have individually reinforced and learned social skills at their home and communities.

This project was designed by including the activities that promoted basic social skills, asking for help, asking questions, joining in, turn taking and initiating play, as well as the conversation skills, friendship skills, greeting, apologizing, and handing disappointment. The activities consisted of gaming, physical and music therapy, respite camping, psychological support, joy and hope. This half year program was free of charge to all families, and also included an 24-hour care onsite. Parental supporting group were offered to families as well. The workshops were held three times for bolstering, reinforcing and evaluating improvement of the social skills.

Results: Ten autistic families attended this workshop. After finishing the program, the parents gained a better understanding of autistic symptoms, behavioral interventions, and social skill building strategies. They established a self-help group for sharing good practices, individually adapting and utilizing in their communities. Additionally, the children have gradually gained social and communicative skills.

Conclusions: This practical project could serve as a strategy for developing social skills for autism and parental training. Further researches are warranted for developing the higher level social skills in high functioning group, such as expressing feelings and recognizing others feelings, dealing with teasing, negotiating, problem solving and emotion regulation techniques.

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