Social Skills – Greetings


Greeting others is not as simple as one might think. There are many unwritten greeting rules that individuals on the spectrum may not be aware of. For example, I have a student who says “hello Lisa” every time I see her throughout the school day: each time I pass her in the hallway or enter her classroom to get another student or run into her in the cafeteria. She hadn’t picked up on the social norm of speaking a greeting the first time she sees me and nodding or smiling only each subsequent time. This material serves as a reference sheet providing a variety of verbal and non-verbal greetings.

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Social Skills: Understanding Others Reference Sheet

Neurotypical individuals closely observe other humans literally from birth.  Individuals on the autism spectrum typically observe others much less often—one of the reasons they are usually significantly less aware of social customs.  Greeting others is not as simple as it would seem.  Take the example of two men passing each other at work.  The social norm could be a quick nod in greeting if they were acquaintances.  A verbal “good morning” could actually be judged as a little odd.  Students on the spectrum can use this reference sheet to become familiar with the many choices of greetings, as well as the contexts in which to use them when paired with discussion.