All Articles Social Skills Activities For Adults With Autism: What’s It All About? We are all social beings, even those who tend to lean more toward introversion. Relationships are an important part of life, and it is no different for people on the autism spectrum. Friendships, intimate relationships, and connections of all types can be challenging to navigate, particularly when it comes to knowing how to interact in socially appropriate and reciprocating ways. A common symptom for people on the Autism spectrum is difficulty reading others and interacting socially. Missed cues, language nuances, and facial expressions can make communication feel like an impossible task for people on the spectrum. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to remain this way; things can improve drastically for people on the spectrum who are dealing with social challenges, it may just require a little additional support and specialized learning opportunities. Social skills activities for adults with autism are a valuable way to help build these types of skills in a safe, supportive setting. What Happens In Skills Training For Adults With Autism? Studies such as the one conducted to evaluate the PEERS model (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) have shown great progress for participants and has modeled the many ways these types of programs help increase skills. Social skills and vocational training opportunities offer promising outcomes for people on the spectrum, according to several studies. SAGE published a study indicating the many positive outcomes from this type of skill-building group, including stress management skills for dealing with social challenges. Coaching and skill-building techniques help people learn in peer groups and through individual training options that last beyond the scope of the program. Communication improvements as well as assertion and empathic skills that are practiced become part of a broader skillset that can be applied in multiple settings. Role-playing allows participants to try out various conversational skills like practicing eye contact and even learning the appropriate way to flirt and ask someone out on a date. Sometimes it can be tricky for people on the Autism spectrum to understand how to implement certain skills. Classes for people with autism, such as PEERS, give feedback in the moment on how skills can be best used, and even some helpful ways to start conversations and reciprocate with socially appropriate dialogue. Trainings for people who work in the field of Autism and those who support loved ones with Autism offer practical approaches to help with social skill building to improve quality of life. The validation and sharing skills that help build connections with others can make a significant difference in the lives of adults with Autism. Beyond classes and training, social skills activities for adults with autism offer people the opportunity to meet others, make friends and practice skills with others who may have similar challenges. How We Can Help People with Autism can benefit from the many useful programs provided by the Adult Autism Center. Friends and family members can also benefit from the vast knowledge of our trained professionals at the center. The Adult Autism Center offers a wide range of services from day programs to academic and career training options. Alongside all of this important work lies the social skill-building opportunities that help bolster the success of participants and increase confidence levels. The skills and abilities people learn through the Adult Autism Center stay with them for life, as do the friendships that are developed and the confidence that comes from being part of a community. Learn More About Our Programs Julia Hood, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D, NCSPJulia Hood, Ph.D., BCBA-D is the Director of the Adult Autism Center of Lifetime Learning, the first center in Utah to provide individualized services for autistic adults. Here, she uses her rich background in psychology to empower clients. Julia has guided the Carmen B. Pingree Center, the center for assisting kids and adolescence, through critical stages of growth, including developing its architectural layout and clinical programs. Under her leadership, the center has also established local partnerships that allow clients to contribute to society. In the future, Julia envisions building more adult autism centers, as well as providing group home residential services. Julia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Westminster College, and a Masters and Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Utah.