Learning how to navigate different social interactions and expectations within the community takes time. For individuals with autism, this could also take practice and patience. With the ongoing pandemic getting out and about can be more difficult, depending on where you live. Different cities and communities require additional steps and have rules people have to follow to stay safe.
Autism Awareness within The Community
Doing things like going to the mall, grocery store, post office, or even the gas station may seem like second nature to many of us. We learn how to do these things by watching others, such as our parents, family, friends, and other customers. For some individuals with autism, being out and about in the community can be overwhelming, stressful, and difficult to do. To help reduce these negative feelings, we want to be patient and learn more about how an individual with autism interacts within the community.
We can help individuals with autism engage more in the community by teaching or demonstrating what to expect in different areas of the community.
Dr. Janessa Dominguez
Teaching what to expect can help the individual know what to do, what to wear, who might be there, how to ask for help, and many more things. Social stories are a great way to teach these expectations. Check out some of the social stories we’ve created about community outings.
Another way to help individuals with autism in the community is by teaching them how to dress for different outings and temperature expectations at different locations. For example, when going to the park during the summer you might wear a t-shirt with shorts and sneakers. The movies tend to be on the colder side so it’s a good idea to bring a sweater. Groceries stores can be cold too! Knowing these things in advance can help reduce some of the unknowns and increase tolerance.
Practice and Communication
Teaching and practicing communication and who to ask for help when out and about in the community can make these outings more enjoyable. Teach how to ask for help and practice how to ask for help using the mode of communication that is best for the individual.
We can Help!
For more help on engaging individuals with autism in the community and getting out and about, contact us today!