Social skills are the ability to behave in an acceptable way in social situations, for example, knowing how to interpret body language, emotional cues, and facial expressions. However, even basic social interactions are often challenging for children with autism. Social skills worksheets are a useful tool that can help autistic children become more aware of themselves and the people around them. Keep on reading to find out more about the different types of social skills worksheets and how they may be helpful for your child with autism.
Why Are Worksheets Helpful for People with Autism?
Social skills are the skills used to communicate and interact with others. They can be either verbal (language) or nonverbal (facial expressions, body language).
Social skills and autism
One of the main signs of autism is a lack or delay in social skills. For example, an autistic child might take another child’s toy without asking for permission, refuse to wait for a turn, or avoid making eye contact. Failure to display expected behavior around other children makes it hard to interact and make friends.
However, children with autism need to learn the same social skills as their neurotypical peers. These skills are essential for getting along with others, developing confidence, and becoming more independent. Teaching social skills should, therefore, be an essential part of your child’s daily activities both at home and at school.
There is a wide range of social skills to work on with autistic children, such as:
- Making eye contact
- Taking turns
- Helping others
- Respecting personal space
- Sharing toys and materials
- Asking for help
- Using appropriate voice tone and volume
- Following directions
- Asking permission
- Resolving conflicts
- Disagreeing politely and respectfully
- Respecting the opinions of others
- Recognizing the difference between expected and unwanted behaviors
- Cooperating with others and working together
- Recognizing body language
- Understanding nonverbal cues
- Recognizing feelings in oneself and others.
What are social skills worksheets?
Social skills worksheets are resources designed to teach children with autism and other disabilities how to relate to other people. Since many children on the autism spectrum are visual learners, social skills worksheets are an effective way to learn skills like:
- Appropriate social behaviors
- Maintaining healthy relationships
- Understanding social nuances
- Adjusting to any given situation
- Learning emotional literacy
- Understanding their own and others’ feelings
- Using manners
- Listening to others
- Using polite words
- Understanding how their actions may impact other people.
Social skills worksheets can be used by everyone from preschoolers to primary school children and teenagers.
Below, we take a look at the wide range of social skills worksheets available for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Social Skills Worksheets for People with Autism
Different types of worksheets can help your child build a strong foundation for acquiring social skills, for example:
- Worksheets for emotional health
- Worksheets for identifying objects
- Worksheets for controlling anger
- Worksheets for communication.
Worksheets for emotional health
Learning to recognize and manage feelings is an important part of social development in children. Nevertheless, children with autism often find mastering this skill very challenging. Worksheets for emotional health will help your child become more aware of their own and others’ emotions and allow them to communicate more effectively.
This emotional health worksheet is specifically designed to help children with autism understand body language. Your child needs to determine what emotion various facial expressions represent and what gestures and tone of voice should accompany them.
This worksheet allows autistic children to learn how to communicate their emotions through facial expressions and gestures, without using their voice.
This empathy skill building package consists of three different worksheets. Your child is asked to choose among several options, such as “worried”, “angry”, confused”, and “left out”, to describe how the character in the picture is feeling. The worksheets are suitable for grades 1-4.
Worksheets for identifying objects
Worksheets for identifying objects are used to teach children to recognize common objects and increase their visual memory, in addition to helping them practice reasoning and pre-reading skills.
To complete this worksheet, your child will need to use reasoning skills in order to determine where an object belongs. As the child matches each object with the right location, he or she is also learning to recognize the words written under the pictures.
These cards prompt your child to identify common objects by choosing the correct alternative among several options. The objects were chosen for their short names that are easy to say, such as “dog”, “ball”, or “car”, so that your child can also work on their pronunciation. The set of cards with 30 objects can be purchased for $2.50.
This series of sorting worksheets is designed to help your child improve observation skills by identifying and circling the picture of one or more objects. Registered users can download the worksheets for free.
Worksheets for controlling anger
Anger management worksheets are useful tools that can assist kids and teens in developing coping skills and teach them appropriate ways to deal with anger. With the help of worksheets for controlling anger, your child will learn how to:
- Analyze anger issues
- Identify anger triggers
- Improve problem-solving skills
- Plan coping strategies.
There are several different types of anger worksheets to choose from:
- Anger triggers worksheets. These sheets help identify anger triggers and provide ideas on how to deal with them.
- Anger signs worksheets. They help recognize facial expressions that show anger.
- Expressing anger worksheets. These worksheets allow children to identify, label, and express different feelings.
- Problem-solving worksheets. This resource is used when anger arises from the inability to solve a problem.
This set of 12 cards will help your child learn how to control their anger. Each card has a picture of a healthy anger management technique. Worksheets are free to download and members can also print customizable sheets.
These worksheets are designed in the form of a wheel with anger management alternatives. The sheets will help your child choose appropriate behaviors when they are angry, for example, “walk away and let it go”, “talk it through”, “apologize”, and more.
This set of worksheets will teach your child to recognize and describe common anger signs like contracting and tightening lips, getting red in the face, and speaking loudly.
Worksheets for communication
Children on the autism spectrum disorder typically face communication difficulties that can lead to social challenges. For example, they may become frustrated when they are unable to request what they need. These worksheets can help improve your child’s communication and social skills.
This set of 29 communication worksheets for autistic children covers everything from improving conversation skills to learning how to show empathy and make friends. The complete set can be downloaded for $75.
This 160-page packet is an essential visual communication tool for children with autism from kindergarten to 12th grade. It includes examples of clothing-related requests and actions through more than 300 visual icon cards and 14 clothing categories. The packet can be downloaded for $4.
This resource offers a wide range of free downloadable worksheets that will help your child communicate more effectively. Your child is asked to guess what the person in the picture wants to communicate and then suggest how to use these phrases in daily life. The website also provides many other types of worksheets as well as tips for learning social skills for children who are auditory rather than visual learners.
In addition to worksheets, expert intervention and therapy sessions can help your child with autism improve their social skills. Read on to find out more.
How Can Hidden Talents ABA Help?
Hidden Talents ABA provides treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder from birth to age 12. We focus on enhancing your child’s ability to understand how their behavior affects those around them and improving their social skills.
Currently the most effective form of autism treatment, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based approach that focuses on changing unwanted behaviors in autistic children while reinforcing desirable ones.
ABA therapy can help your child to build and strengthen social skills, for example:
- Improve communication skills
- Increase attention, focus, and memory
- Follow directions and instructions
- Understand facial expressions and body language
- Initiate conversations
- Respond to questions
- Reduce problematic behaviors such as aggressivness and meltdowns.
ABA therapy uses positive reinforcement in the form of rewards and incentives. When a desirable behavior is rewarded by a special treat or activity, the child is more likely to repeat the action. Over time, this method will encourage positive behavioral changes in children with autism spectrum disorder.
For more information on Hidden Talents ABA services, call us at 404-487-6005 or send us an email at email@example.com.