In last week’s blog we discussed Autism Friendly Social Skills and the question of eye contact and what it means for an autistic person with regard to their personal growth and inherent characteristics of autism. Social skills learning for a person on the spectrum needs to be approached from the autistic perspective – the learning is guided by personal choice.
When we respect a person’s decisions for what they want from life and how they best choose to acquire these needs and wants, then we enable them to make their own personal choices.
When Social Skills learning is approached from a broad sense of supporting a person’s well-being, it will aim to not only support the person in gaining new skills – but to support them in gaining a better understanding of who they are as a person and what value they have to offer the world.
How can we provide the opportunities to support a person who has a goal of being better understood and of better understanding the social world around them?
As support people, we can help by bridging the gap – we can assist by:
Social skills learning should always be about what the learner wants and needs in order to work out the social world around them and NEVER what someone would like them to be – we don’t force people to socialise.
If a person has the skills to function in the world and to understand themselves, then self-esteem and self-worth improves.
And from our part, working alongside a person who is developing new skills and learning more about themselves, we also have the opportunity to understand more, and to really bridge the gap effectively.
Written by Elissa Plumridge