When I am coaching, I often get asked what social skills are important to teach children on the autism spectrum. I put together this list of social skills to teach kids with autism so that you would know exactly what to work on with your child/students.
I have also included a printable version of the list (available as a free printable below).
Why teach social skills to individuals with autism
Why is it important to teach social skills to autistic learners in the first place?
Building a social skills repertoire will help your child in many ways by :
- Fostering friendships
- Encouraging kindness and empathy
- Increasing your child’s positive social experiences
List of Social Skills for Kids with Autism
This list is by no means definitive but a great place to start. 62 social skills you can begin teaching in your home or classroom.
- Following directions
- Complimenting others
- Being a supportive friend
- Asking permission
- Being polite
- Speaking in an appropriate tone
- Speaking at an appropriate volume
- Waiting to do something
- Accepting that something is not available
- Realizing that my actions have consequences
- Respecting others’ things
- Respecting others’ personal space
- Listening when other speak
- Taking turns
- Waiting for everyone to be served food before eating at the table
- Respecting other people’s feelings
- Recognizing my own feelings
- Accepting “no” as an answer to a request
- Identifying other people’s emotions
- Working as a team
- Asking for help when necessary
- Accepting others’ differences
- Forgive others
- Helping someone else
- Making eye contact
- Responding to my name
- Following rules
- Taking turns when speaking in a conversation
- Communicating in a clear way
- Actively participating in a conversation
- Following instructions/directions
- Staying with a group outside
- Respectfully disagreeing
- Accepting feedback from others
- Sharing toys
- Celebrating my successes as well as others’ successes
- Giving gifts
- Accepting gifts with gratitude
- Focusing on the task at hand
- Resisting peer pressure
- Flexibility – accepting a change of plans
- Calling other by their names
- Sharing ideas
- Speaking on the phone
- Giving help
- Waiting for change
- Greeting a shopkeeper
- Saying hello
- Being kind to animals
- Staying seated with the group
- Asking another person about his/her day
- Waiting appropriately at the store
- Mealtime etiquette
- Reading quietly at the library
- Using a seatbelt
- Politely declining the offer of food from others
- Eating at someone else’s home
- Waiting my turn on the playground
- Walking next to an adult on the sidewalk/street
- Dressing appropriately when out with others
- Sitting quietly on the plane
- Eating appropriately in a restaurant
Tools that can help teach social skills to autistic learners
These are by best tools to help you teach social skills to your little learners on the spectrum.
- Autism Activity Workbooks – do the activities in these workbooks with one child or in a group. The activities build a variety of new skills and can be done by the child individually or children can work in teams.
- Autism Sensory Boxes – autism sensory boxes are a fabulous tool to help your child calm down and focus. Make mini versions and they become the perfect tool to bring with you on the go.
- Sensory Break Cards – while working on social skills, don’t forget that your child may have specific sensory needs – they are typically part of an autism diagnosis after all. Sensory break cards help make time for sensory breaks throughout the day which will keep your child happier, calmer and more focused.
- Autism Chew Toys – autism chew toys can do wonders for helping your child cope in social situations while also getting the necessary oral sensory feedback he/she needs.
- Sensory Toys – these sensory toys can also be valuable in social situations, as well as at home.
- DIY Fidgets – fidgets help your child stay focused and relaxed in social situations, making it easier for him/her to learn the social skills on this list.
Get your free printable list of social skills to teach
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List of Social Skills to Teach Children with Autism
Print out this list of social skills to teach children with autism to use at home or in your classroom.
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