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School Talk


Social skills enhancement makes children become confident 2021-12-29

Many children with ASD are afraid of or are not good at interacting with people, and also feel frustrated because they cannot fit in with others. Ming, a boy with ASD, once saw other children having fun together in the park. He wanted to join in but was rejected, so he cried and left the park with his mother. The mother knew that Ming was very sad, but she did not know how to help him. Fortunately, Ming has improved his social and communication skills after participating in the “Learning Buddies” programme. Now he can bravely interact with other children and play games together.

Ming’s social skills improved significantly after joining the programme for two months, and he became more cheerful and confident, which surprised Ming’s mother. She was eager to share Ming’s changes with us, “Ming paid more attention to others. He would actively invite other children to play together. He’s also able to chat with peers around the same topic. Even when he was rejected, he could stay calm.”

Ming now knows how to take others’ perspectives. The mother once asked Ming what he would like to do when he grows up. Ming answered he wants to be a boss, so that he can buy a lot of things for his mother. Ming’s mother was touched after hearing that, “He’s a good son. I was touched not only because he’s a good son but he has started to have his own thoughts.” During the training sessions, the therapists arranged many simulated scenarios. For example, the therapists purposely misunderstood Ming and then taught him how to respond. Ming’s mother stated that those scenarios were very close to our daily life, allowing children to learn appropriate social behaviours and problem-solving skills, and then apply them to real situations.

When the boy is ready, it is time for him to enter the campus and make new friends independently. Although Ming’s mother was a bit reluctant to let Ming graduate from the “Learning Buddies” programme, she was confident in Ming and believed that he would be able to face challenges and make new friends in the future!

Ming’s mother was invited to share her perspective on ASD and ABA services with Autism Partnership Foundation (operating in Hong Kong) (APF, HK). Ming is a past beneficiary of APF, HK.