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According to a study by Vanderbilt University researchers, children with autism learn better social skills when their peers invite them to play. More than 30 peer interactions were studied in children ages 8 to 12 on a real playground by using remotely operated cameras and battery-operated microphones. A typically developing child with an ear microphone was directed by examiners to invite a child with autism and another child without autism to play. The researchers reported that while the children with autism initiated and engaged in less play overall than typically developing children, other children could facilitate and increase interactions with simple requests to play. Researchers further found that children with autism experienced more stress during social interactions than children without autism (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Online Dec.12).

Therefore, it is important to desensitize children with autism to social situations and interactions by scheduling weekly play dates with peers (at least 2 or 3 a week). Over time, the more practice they have the less stress they will experience. Based on the study, using peer models to invite them to play and to play with them is very beneficial to typical social skill development.

Hopefully, you will find this useful for your child.
Susie Bean Gives Team