Article Categories Health-and-Fitness Autism

Autism Social Skills - Why Do Parents Need To Teach Personal Safety

By: Mylinda Elliott

One of the important Autism Social Skills we need to teach our children is personal safety. Personal safety can include the concept of stranger danger, the concept of being able to decide if a place is a safe place to be, or even what to say when questioned by police. One article can not do justice to this topic so this will be a beginning.

Children with Autism do not have the social skills for parents to be able to explain a situation and the child to be able to figure out what to do. Parents will want to develop specific processes for what to do in a variety of situations.

Then teach those processes as a set of rules. The if (fill in the blank); then (fill in the blank) technique is perfect when teaching these types of rules. This is a simple two step type of rule. A simple example might be "If a stranger stops their car and tries to talk to you; then you run home."

This gets more complex when our children get older and when they become adults. It is not impossible though. There have been people with Autism who have been able to successfully testify against someone who committed crimes.

This took a lot of work by the people involved. The prosecutor did not even think it was possible. The instance happened in Texas worked with the help of an Advocate for the men with Autism who were testifying.

What brings this to mind is a child with Autism watching a man with a puppy. There was much discussion with this child. It finally got to a really basic discussion, with a 13 year old with high functioning Autism that the man wanted to hurt her privates. Then the if/then rule was taught. That worked and was such a relief.

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