Social Communication for Adults with Autism
You may be new to trying to understand autism. Or have been in the game for a while. Either way, getting your head around the large amounts of therapy support and strategies for social communication for adults with autism can be difficult and confusing. Who do you go to for assistance in a specific area? How do I ensure the health professional team is working together to maximise the supports provided? And, why does everyone I talk to have a different opinion on the help that I should be receiving?
A Guide to Supporting Your Young Adult with Social Communication Difficulties
Depending on whether you are reading this to assist with your own journey or to gain more awareness on how to assist a loved one or colleague, there is one thing we hope you can gain from this blog. We health professionals have your best interests at heart. We will assist in whatever way we can to support your wellbeing.
What Can Speech Pathologists Add To Your Life Goals for Better Social Communication?
Let’s talk about goals to boost social communication for adults with autism. The aim is to help you to understand, interpret and build social communication more successfully. Then you can finally represent yourself better and interact easier.
If you feel like you want to participate more effectively in your community, you might consider sessions with a speech pathologist as a solid start.
Autism is a spectrum and no two people who have autism present with the same strengths or weaknesses. Therefore, our therapy goals will differ dramatically from person to person. We will always be mindful of your communication perspective and help you engage others more effectively.
We have broken down some areas that our team work in. This can help you work out if our service is a good fit for your needs.
What areas might you work on With Our Team?
Listening to Understand
Sometimes sessions in social communication for adults with autism will need to target receptive language.
Receptive language refers to a person’s ability to understand and comprehend language. Our team will help you work on your receptive language if your assessment identifies that you need more skill in this area.
Without having a strong grasp on the comprehension of language correct use of expressive language can be very difficult. This in turn will make social language use near impossible.
This area can incorporate
– understanding figurative language,
– following directions and instructions,
– and comprehending text and spoken language.
Expressing your Ideas & Thoughts
You may also need some strategies around your expressive language.
Expressive refers to a person’s ability to speak with the right amount of detail logically so that your listener gets your message clearly.
This areas incorporates the skills of
– logical sentence formation,
– being able to structure ideas and provide them in coherent and logical ways
– being able to explain past events and provide adequate background knowledge to assist the listener to understand
– Using the right words to express what you are trying to share
This area incorporates both expressive and receptive language, and how they work together. Pragmatic langauge skill is what lets you form and maintain healthy conversations, friendships and relationships with others. Pragmatic language looks at the basic and intricate rules that we need to use to communicate well with other people.
This is an area that we speechies at Voice Science have a huge passion in working on with our clients! Work on pragmatic language with ou team can include sessions to develop how you:
– understandand follow body language rules
– understand non-literal language, sarcasm, jokes, humour as a form of communication,
– understand and interpret others perspectives and points of view, how people are feeling, facial expressions, voice tone…
– can minimise and solve communication breakdowns, arguements or misunderstandings
– understand your emotions and use them effectively when speaking with your family, friends, colleagues
And much, much more…
What strategies do we use in your sessions?
Let’s have a look at the types of things we use to keep your sessions practical and engaging so you can achieve social communication success.
In sessions we will use a mix of strategies to assist you with your goals. These include:
- Visual charts
- Questions cards
- Real life scenarios
- Made up scenarios
- Real life simulation of difficult social activities
- Scenario analysis: trouble shooting events that happened to create a good game plan for next time
- Story / scenario retells and social communication analysis with various tech, apps and even YouTube
Having a range of resources at our disposal means our sessions are dynamic and really functional. They can be tailored to your personal social skills and provide a platform for development and growth in their areas of need.
How Can You Work On Your Social Skills With Our Team?
We are all about options and finding the best fit for you. You can choose between online sessions (from anywhere in the world) or in clinic sessions. Keep reading to find out more about how these sessions that cover strategies for social communication for adults with autism.
Not going to lie, this is one of our greatest assets.
Online sessions let you access our therapy sessions anywhere in the world.
They are super convenient and allow clients to fit a session in their lunch break or around their Uni timetable.
Online presence is huge in our community, and is only getting larger. This is due to the growing impact of:
– online world wide corporate calls,
– video gaming online communication,
– YouTube vlogging presence,
– and FaceTime calls.
It is vital that you know how to communicate effectively one-on-one, and also when you speak via an online presence. This is because this mode will only increase as our world continues to grow in our ability to communicate around the globe. You will get a lot out of your online sessions with our team.
In Clinic Sessions
Our clinic therapy sessions are held at our office locations at Level 2, 161 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD. They are a great way to practice social goals as we can incorporate increased work on body language and resource material that we have in our clinic rooms. In the clinic, we also have a coffee shop located on our level which can be a great way to practice those skills just learnt in the clinic room for everyday activities. This allows you to see the real impact they can have on your social interactions in real time.
Let's team up!
Our team know that no one is an island. Therefore we are very interested in working collaboratively.
When it comes to assisting our adult clients with autism, we can work alongside other health professionals managing your care to ensure holistic goals are met more effectively.
This allows for complete understanding in regards to our clients strengths and weaknesses. We want to help you build your communication comfort and skill in multiple domains and can collaborate well with:
– Occupational therapists: to assist with sensory regulations & behavioural understandings.
– Psychologists: assist to understand your emotional & mental needs.
– Family & colleagues: to provide realistic and detailed information into your daily life, interaction success and future goals.
Obviously we will only work with people in your team if we have your legal and medical consent to do so.
What Goals Are Commonly Needing Work to Improve Social Communication for Adults with Autism?
Sessions that follow your Social Skills For Adults Communication Assessment may include strategies for:
- Verbal and non verbal communication
- How to comprehend better what your communication partner might be feeling or wanting
- Tools to help you initiate spontaneous communication
- Techniques to keep the conversation going
- Techniques to help you enter large or small groups successfully
- Communication strategies to help you communicate interpersonally in all environments, especially those where you find it challenging including work or social environments
- Tools to start making phone calls or answer the phone if you avoid it
- Ideas to help you make your voice more expressive to reflect your feelings and emotions more clearly
- Tips to understand jokes or non literal expressions if you misinterpret these things
- Ideas to build up your hobbies and interests to better position you in spaces so you can apply your new communication strategies
- Techniques to help you understand other people’s perspectives through verbal and nonverbal interactions and why this is so important to forming and maintaining beneficial relationships
- Emotional regulation strategies