Conversational skills are the foundation for making friends and interacting with adults. Greetings and good-byes are very important aspects of a conversation since greetings set the tone for the conversation and good-byes leave a final impression.
Here are some tricks to understanding the components of greetings and good-byes:
- Many different words and phrases are used in introductions and greetings. The variations can be confusing for children on the spectrum, who have a hard time generalizing skills. Teach your child with autism the many forms of the word “Hello” and the meaning behind phrases like “How are you?”
- Children who have been diagnosed with autism may need to have their parents explain to them the context behind greetings and good-byes Good morning.” and “Hey there!” are both greetings, but they are appropriate for different people. The same can be said for “Have a nice day.” and “See you later!” Children on the spectrum should also understand context with regards to settings. When your child speaks to a teacher or an order person it is proper to be more formal than when they talk to a peer.
- Body language plays an important part in teaching your child the proper ways to greet someone. When they say “hello” or “good-bye” to a familiar person, it is more customary to hug, high-five etc. When they are meeting with an adult, someone with authority, or an important member of society, it is more proper to shake their hand.
It is important to prepare your child with autism for an upcoming greeting by telling them or preparing them for what will occur and reminding them how to respond. Role Play new situations when you know they will be coming up and teach your child new phrases, body language cues, and appropriate responses in a comfortable environment.
We may take it for granted but greetings and good-byes can be complex interactions for children who have been diagnosed with autism. Help your child understand a variety of phrases, and recognizing body language so that are able to comprehend the importance of building social and communication skills.