New Program Provides Friendship Tool to Teens on the Autism Spectrum

EasterSealsMidwestST. LOUIS, Missouri- One in 68 children are diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.  Now there is a new program to provide friendship tools to teens on the autism spectrum.

The main characteristics of children having an autism spectrum disorder is the difficulty they experience in social interactions. Anyone of the autism spectrum has to be taught how to interpret verbal and non verbal cues.

With social interactions being one of the hardest things for people with autism spectrum disorder it is apparent that society needs to understand their challenges.  Children on the autism spectrum must be taught to navigate the social world.

Easter Seals Midwest is introducing a new program throughout Missouri. This program is aimed to help 11-18 year olds diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who struggle to make and keep friends.

This program was developed at UCLA. Barbara Braddock, who runs the program at the Knights of Columbus Development Center at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, believes this program will help stop some of the bullying that teens on the autism spectrum endure.  Every participant is screened and receives family and follow up support.

Braddock says

“Each teen comes in with different needs and strengths and weakness….It’s not the answer to everything. It’s just a starting point”.

The original article with video by Colleen Schrappen in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch can be read here.