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Aspergers Social Skills - How do I help my son with Aspergers in his social skills? He needs to interact with other kids and deal with people in the near future once he start's working.

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Even though there are several areas of weakness caused by Asperger's, social skills problems are probably the most important.  Good social skills mean more than friendships and peer relationships.  Social skills are necessary for interaction on the job, dating, and dealing with out people in all aspects of life.   Your son can find help with social skills in many different places.

Help at school

When there is no Asperger's, social skills are taught naturally in the classroom.  However, children with Asperger's Syndrome fail to grasp the concept in this manner.  Social skills must be taught systematically with much practice.  Speech therapists in the schools are able to teach social skills along with other types of communication skills.  This therapy may or may not involve a group of kids and will mainly focus on education related issues.

Help at home

You are a vital player in your son with Asperger's social skills therapy.  The skills that are taught at school or in private therapy must be practiced at home.  In addition, you should practice all forms of therapy at home and encourage your son to complete therapy homework whenever it is given.

Help in private therapy

For children with Asperger's, social skills can be taught through private therapy.  Private therapists are usually associated with a hospital or medical group in your area.  These therapists focus on all of a person's weaknesses where school therapists can only work on education related weaknesses. 

Help in autism support groups

Autism support groups can also help children with Asperger's.  Social skills groups may be available within the support group's membership.  Check with the support group owner or leader for information on social skills groups or classes for your son.  Even if your group does not have social skills classes, the members can supply information on other resources in your community.

Help in focused interest with clubs and outings

Intense special interests are a part of life with Asperger's.  Social skills can be learned through these special interests.  Find clubs or community groups that share a common interest with your son.  These clubs will supply opportunities for your son to practice his social skills in an environment that feels comfortable to him.  Club outings will allow further practice and a bit of independence.

With some planning on your part, and hard work on the part of your son with Asperger's, social skills can be learned and practiced on a daily basis.  It may not come natural, but it is possible for people with Asperger's Syndrome to discover the basic ability of socialization.

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