Psychotherapy Services in South West London

Autistic developmental disorder: social strategies

Social stories are a popular method for teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorders about social behaviour. A social story is a brief narrative used to explain social rules and concepts. The description may include where and whey a specific situation occurs how others are feeling and or what prompts the individual’s feelings and reactions. The story features an introduction that clearly identifies the topic (e.g. Friendship, maintaining a conversation, listening) and sections that adds details and social knowledge and a conclusion that reinforces that information and any new suggestions. Social stories may be written documents or used with videotapes. They can be used effectively to enhance perspective talking skills and to introduce the idea of inferring the mental state of others. A social skill autopsy is a problem solving strategy designed to decrease the possibility that a social misunderstanding will reoccur. The individual actively participates in analysing real world social interaction to identify the cause and effect relationship between his or her behaviour and the positive and negative reactions of others. Specific social problems are discussed after the event and reviewed in sequential forms. The clinician helps the individual identify the who, what , when and where of the situation. Several behavioural options are then considered by identifying one or more alternative actions he or she could have taken. Following each options discussed, a consequence is clarified. A plan or strategy is then formulated to carry out the appropriate alternative if the social situation occurs again. The individual may also practise carrying out the plan by visualizing the strategy, writing down the plan talking with a safe person about the plan and role playing.

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