Welcome to your weekly Tips from the Team. We’ll be bringing you information from knowledgeable writers on a range of subjects including biomedical treatments, nutrition, advocacy, safety and more—information you can use to improve the quality of life for both your child and yourself.
The Power of Play
Top Six Strategies to Boost Your Child's Social Skills...

By Tali Berman

Time and time again, parents have shared with me that one of the main questions that keeps them up at night is, “Will my child ever make a friend?” or “Will my child ever have the sense of love, acceptance, and belonging that comes from true friendship?”

In my work with families of children with autism since 1997, I have had the true honor and privilege of witnessing just that: children going from having no interest and ability in interacting, to playing with delight (both with their peers and other family members) and cultivating meaningful friendships. My life’s work is to help children, including yours, share his unique self with the world around him through meaningful and nurturing relationships. 

After working with hundreds of children from around the world, I have seen that there are six strategies, that when implemented, will cultivate success in social skill development. I want to help you witness that kind of growth in your child by having a step-by-step approach that will pave a path forward for your child to create friendships with more ease and success.

Though theory can be interesting, I’m all about giving you tools you can implement.  So, beneath each strategy you will see an “action step”.  This way, you know what to do and HOW to do it.

Ready to get started? Read on!

Strategy #1 Prioritize Interaction (with YOU)
Now this might seem simple, but you may be amazed at how frequently this is overlooked. Often, parents and professionals focus on skill acquisition; matching, building blocks, completing tasks, etc. I’m not saying that these skills aren’t important, but I am saying that the focus on these skills often dominates.  The skill of having natural and meaningful interaction with another person (which, in my experience, is the core challenge for anyone on the autism spectrum) is not given the attention it deserves.

It’s time to tip the scale and prioritize interaction! Your child’s interactions with you in fun and playful ways will not only enhance relationship skills with you, but it will also create the foundation to transfer that desire and ability with peers. But how do you do it?

To continue reading, click here.

Tali Berman is an autism specialist, author, and developmental play expert who has worked with hundreds of children from over 30 different countries since 1997. She has authored the book, Play to Grow! Over 200 games to help your special child develop fundamental social skills, with a foreword by Jenny McCarthy. Play to Grow was voted as one of the top five books by the Special Needs Book Review, is now sold in four languages and has proven to be an invaluable resource for families worldwide. Tali is also the founder/leader of the annual Autism Empowerment Telesummit where she has gathered top autism experts on her elite panel (including Temple Grandin,Jenny McCarthy, and Donna Gates), reaching thousands of families around the globe. Tali currently lives with her husband and three children in the Jerusalem area. You can learn more about Tali’s work at


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