The best way to explain strangers to your child who has autism

Carol - posted on 08/22/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 6yr old daughter does not meet any strangers, because anyone she see she will go up to them and even try to give them a hug. There are times when she will try and go off with people that she barely knows and that concerns me alot. Is there a way that I can explain it to her so she will understand?

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Jean - posted on 08/22/2011

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Oh yes! I have one of those kids too! My son knew no strangers. It was very scary. First, be sure the school is on board so nothing bad happens while you work on this. If your daughter does not make eye contact, she does not see faces and she doesn't know who she knows and who is a stranger. It's kind of surprising to people that this too goes with autism (people think of kids who avoid, but hyposensitive kids are often too close). We used social stories, but we also made a game out of pictures. Some were people my son knew and some were strangers. It was like the match game. He had to turn over the pictures and say if it was friend, family or stranger. He had to look at the face. Then we would prompt him to "look at her face" when he'd meet people so he would learn faces. This took a long time and it's not perfect. #1 priority is to keep her safe!!

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Carol - posted on 08/22/2011

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Thanks so much for that I will definetly try it. It is so scary and I just did not know how to explain it to her so she would understand.

Bobbi - posted on 08/22/2011

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A social story might just help a lot. I've used them very successfully with my son and now write my own for other children I also work with... I've put a link here that explains them brilliantly and gives tips on how to write them should you want to take up the challenge, but more importantly on page 4 is a sample social story called "people I can talk to" it might be a great start!! good luck.
http://www.cheri.com.au/PDF_Files/profes...

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