What’s laughter got to do with it?

How do you learn social skills? Most of us learned as we grew up, a little at a time, and our parents and friends told us when we did something that was socially incorrect. We probably did things wrong again, but slowly adjusted and got it right.

But how do kids who have developmental disabilities like autism spectrum disorders learn these skills? It might take more practice, or more explicit instruction than is needed by kids who are developing typically. Before learning the appropriate ways to interact socially, a child might bring out negative reactions from other people, including parents.

Any child can bring tears to a parent’s eyes, and for lots of different reasons. Sometimes we have happy tears after seeing one of our children accomplish a herculean task.

Some behaviors might trigger a very response from a parent. I’ve gotten angry when I was embarrassed by the actions of one of my children. I’ve gone away deeply saddened by misunderstandings between my child and others.

No matter how our kids’ social skills impact our own lives, we just keep on teaching them how the social world works. My own child with autism learns a lot from her sisters, and I have to smile when I hear her laughing with them and their friends.

But it’s hard to laugh with friends if you don’t have very many to get together with. Do you know  a young woman who wants to make new friends? The participants in our social group often get together with other participants outside of the group time.

We’ll be meeting on the first and third Thursdays of every month through May. Email Lydia at lschuck51@gmail.com, or comment below if you want more information.

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