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Social Skills Practical Suggestions

These ideas are by Karen DeFelice:

Well, as a Spectrum adult the social thing can be hard and confusing. Here are the avenues that have helped me and that we are teaching our kids (so far it is working for them too)

- hang out with 'nerd' types. If not spectrum people they are really close and often make great friends. I work around computers and science and many of the other women and men in those areas are easier for me to get along with. Hanging out with others who tend to do 'shop talk' is good because the subject matter can be the conversation. This isn't far off from men who constantly talk sports in social situations.

- my boys have been successful making friends with new kids in class, foreign students, and other kids who don't fit the popular crowd mold and might need a friend...

- if there is a social gathering, go early when fewer people are there. Leave once it gets crowded, or find a really quiet corner to hang out in with one or two people. You can participate without being in the middle of the room

- we go to social places like church and sit way in the back on the side, and wear comfortable clothing (our church has services dedicated to that)

- fake the eye contact. In this case, it is an NT need and not a spectrum-person need. Because some NT types have this 'handicap' and get extremely nervous without eye contact, just try to accomodate their special needs and look at their forehead, tip of one ear, the picture on the wall behind them....this usually does the trick and they don't have a meltdown.

- we go to the mall at the least crowded times; restaurants at 5 pm before it gets crowded; go to matinee movies and other reduced traffic times

[My thanks to Karen for allowing me to use this list on my site.]

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