Constructive Parenting: Selling social abilities in toddlers with autism | Constructive Parenting
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The COVID pandemic has posed many challenges for families – especially those with children with learning needs. Now, a new study shows that supportive interactions between parents and children can help young children in social situations.
Parents are always looking for ways to help their children make friends.
But when you have a child with autism, social interaction can be difficult. Researchers say that with the right tools, parents can help toddlers with autism connect with others. In a study of 144 families of one to three year olds with autism, toddlers whose parents participated in a special social communication support program showed significant improvements that they sustained over a six month period. Social communication is about paying attention to others and sharing their interests before a child has even learned to speak.
Scientists say parents can try some of the same activities at home to help toddlers pay attention to faces and take turns communicating. For example, hide a toy in a small bag and pull the bag close to your face so your toddler will look at you before pulling out the toy. Then make an excited noise to get them to look you in the face again. Another idea: dress up in silly hats or scarves! When your child looks between the object and your face, give them meaning by smiling and giggling.
Here’s another idea to try at home: use a remote control car and go for a drive. Make sense of the experience by stopping the car and gasping for breath loudly. Wait until your child looks at your face from the toy. If they do, smile and let the car go again and do it again!