Spectrum SKILLZ – SOCIAL development of children in the spectrum
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is largely characterized by social dysfunction. It is often assumed that the social problems associated with it are the choice of the individual, but this is not the case. Children with ASD want to interact with others but lack the appropriate skills. Developing the right set of social skills is essential to their success in interpersonal relationships.
Children with ASD are often overwhelmed by social situations and may not know how to properly interact with others. The behaviors that come with it can range from avoiding conversations altogether to dominating the conversation. They often seem lost in their own thoughts and find it difficult to switch between conversations with others. This disconnection from giving and receiving calls can be difficult for others to respond appropriately.
Many of these social deficits stem from the fact that children with ASD have difficulty reading social cues such as tone of voice and facial expressions. This means that they have a hard time understanding the meaning of what someone might say and then reacting accordingly. They also struggle with “collective attention,” so they often miss opportunities to connect with others. This lack of “social sense” contributes to the feeling of awkwardness seen in most children with ASD.
The best way to help children with ASD develop their social skills is to ask them to practice them in a variety of situations. Programs to deal with these deficits will increase their confidence in social situations and give them tools to help them connect with others. It would be most beneficial to practice this in a group.
The Spectrum SKILLZ program is specifically designed to develop these essential skills in children with ASD. Since these children generally do not have the necessary skills to participate in traditional martial arts classes, this program is a great course to help them develop social skills while introducing them to the world of martial arts. Moreover, the Spectrum SKILLZ program focuses on all development areas in each class.
For example, in the “Which One” activity, students practice face watching by demonstrating their ability to see and understand the various emotions that are shown on the face balls. This will be a challenge for them, requiring them to be able to recognize the different emotions displayed by the balls so that they can make a connection in their daily lives. Activities like this will impact the kids in each class, giving them a skill set to use in a variety of social situations.
When addressing the social deficits of children with ASD, it is important to find programs aimed at developing these skills. The right skill set will provide them with the tools to engage in social interactions more appropriately, read social cues with greater confidence, and interact with others in groups and during activities.