social skills training

The Role of Social Skills Training in Autism Treatment

Awakenings Treatment Center is a place for healing. You can follow one of our programs or cross-track your care to treat a dual diagnosis. The goal is to give attention to your mind, body and spirit. When all parts of yourself are in sync, you can work towards full healing. 

Awakenings Introduces Autism Treatment Program 

One of our newest programs is designed for people with high functioning autism. In terms of substance abuse, this is a unique population because it's not necessarily “protected” as their peers on the lower end of the spectrum. 

People with high functioning autism go out with friends, though might feel out of their comfort zone and be prone to drinking. It’s also common for these individuals to have traits that raise the risk for substance abuse, such as communication and sensory challenges. 

If you or someone close to you has high functioning autism, Awakenings can help. We can help you understand the disorder, the unique challenges you may face and pathways to treatment. As part of our program, clients take part in social skills training. 

What is Social Skills Training? 

Social skills training (SST) is a form of behavioral therapy that improves social skills in people with developmental disabilities or mental illness. It is a flexible type of therapy that can be offered in group or individual settings. However, SST works best as part of a combined treatment program. 

Before starting SST, your specific skill deficits will be assessed. Do you have trouble making eye contact? Do you struggle to carry a conversation? We start small, as we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. Usually, SST begins with simple tasks like introducing yourself, making small talk and carrying a conversation. 

Here are some ways to practice social skills in therapy:  

  • Rehearse new skills in simulated situations 
  • Apply corrective feedback 
  • Use positive reinforcement  
  • Watch others model appropriate social behaviors 
  • Practice new social skills at home 

Common Social Skills to Practice

Because Awakenings offers highly personalized treatment, we can tailor SST to focus on the areas you are most deficient in. In general, these are the areas that most clients need help with: 

  • Make eye contact 
  • Smile at others 
  • Sustain conversations 
  • Listen to others 
  • Show empathy 
  • Give/accept compliments 
  • Start/leave a conversation 
  • Choose good conversation topics 

Social skills training is a fun and effective learning tool that fits into a larger treatment program. To learn more about Awakening’s autism treatment center, contact us today.