Peer Solicitation Helps Children With Autism

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Recently, researchers studied playground interactions between children with autism and their peers. They found that peer solicitation—specifically, a child inviting another child to play—can improve reciprocal social interaction among autistic children. The study was published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

While the children with autism did engage in less play than their typically developing peers, other children facilitated and increased their interactions by making simple requests. The findings show the important role children have in social interaction. It just takes one child to prompt a group of children to interact, whether or not they have autism.

Since children on the autism spectrum typically struggle with social skills, the playground can be a confusing and stressful place for them. But the study indicates that, with peer solicitation, they may be able to enjoy playing in groups. Autism can be a very lonely disorder for a child, so these results are encouraging.

If your autistic child is struggling to make friends, contact your Orange County therapist to see if behavioral therapy can help.