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Incorporating Social Skills in the School Setting


Incorporating Social Skills in the School Setting Tara Childs Heather Weston Hanover County Public Schools Why teach social skills All environments are social ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Incorporating Social Skills in the School Setting

Incorporating Social Skills in the School Setting
  • Tara Childs
  • Heather Weston
  • Hanover County Public Schools

Why teach social skills
  • All environments are social
  • Compensation for social skills deficits is
  • If a student learns incidentally, he/ she would
    already have learned these skills (obviously that
    is not the case)
  • Students need direct instruction
  • Lavoie. (1994)

  • The purpose of social skills instruction is to
    provide students with ASD the means to acquire
    skills to function socially when they CHOOSE to
    do so, or NEED to do so.
  • McAfee, J. (2002)

What we know about current teaching practices and
social skills
  • Current practices are ineffective
  • Not enough time spent
  • Not in natural settings
  • Deficits are not matched to strategies used
  • Often no assessments are used
  • No systemic programming
  • Interventions not being used effectively

Reasons people with ASD are unemployed
  • Lack of social pragmatics
  • Lack of social skills development
  • Behavioral issues
  • Missing supports
  • Social skills are extremely important!
  • Most employers value good social skills over good
    vocational skills!
  • Herm Fishbein

The Basics
Social Interaction
  • Joint Attention
  • Process of sharing ones experience
  • Executive Function
  • Organizational cognitive brain function
  • Theory of Mind
  • Understanding different perspectives, point of
    view, thoughts, emotions, etc.

Components of Successful Social Interactions
S. Bellini, Ph.D., 2006
There is a difference
Factors that Affect Performance
  • Motivation
  • Sensory Needs
  • Mood/Anxiety
  • Attention and Impulsivity Control
  • Memory
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Mobility and Movement Differences

Your Role
  • Emphasize competence!
  • Pick times when the student is doing something in
    which they are confident. If the student loves
    building with logos, let the peer join in with
    that activity
  • Be careful with pairing with kids that are much
    more competent in a skill (Especially with AS)
  • Work towards equal partnership
  • If student is slow-paced pair with a peer that is
    slow-paced too.

In terms of Instruction
  • Baseline Where is he at? What skills does he
    have? What skills are missing? What skills does
    he display regularly? What skills are not yet
    used effectively?
  • Create goals and plan for teaching skills needed
  • Plan what activities are going to be reinforcing
    to all students involved
  • Create materials and scripts What accommodations
    are going to be needed!
  • Collect data
  • Reevaluate and rework social skills program
  • The lesson itself should include defining the
    skill, modeling the skill, rehearsing the skill,
    and evaluating how the rehearsal went and how
    people used the skill

Programming time
  • Resource room
  • Actively teach social thinking vocabulary to
    establish a stronger environment of social
    cooperation (pair with curriculum)
  • Communicate with the other teachers what concepts
    have been introduced.
  • Self-Contained Classroom
  • Establish a regular time, on a daily basis where
    social thinking vocabulary is introduced,
    expanded or maintained in the classroom
  • Connect social thinking for social skills to
    social thinking for understanding the curriculum.
    Make modifications to ensure understanding.
  • You will still want to communicate to the other
    members of the team what concepts have been

Programming cont.
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Carry over the lessons introduced in the special
    education classes.
  • Use social thinking vocabulary during teachable
  • Help integrate the ideas of social thinking
    across the day.

Learning to monitor onesown behavior
  • Encourage students to define and track one or two
    behaviors related to classroom cooperation or
  • Have them reward themselves for sticking with
    their target behavior.
  • Create behavior charts or use with a behavior

Hidden Curriculum
  • The unwritten rules
  • Refers to the expectations that change due to who
    you are talking to, where you are, and what is
    emotionally charges at the time
  • Must be taught directly

Intervention for kids with poor social skills is
not quite so simple as teaching them better
social skills.
  • We need to help teach students to become more
    efficient social thinkers, before we can expect
    them to produce better social skills.

Social Stories
  • Carol Gray
  • Used to explain social situations, what behaviors
    are expected, and how their behaviors affect
  • Works to teach the hidden curriculum
  • Should be positive
  • Make sure to explain vs. tell
  • Should be reviewed daily and before each social

Comic-Strip Conversations
  • Carol Gray
  • The use of a comic strip style drawing to show
    what people say, do, and think
  • Uses symbols and colors to clarify

Peer Buddies/ Tutors
  • Peers can be valuable coaches
  • They can be prompters and reinforcers!
  • Peers model appropriate skills
  • Keep it simple
  • Structure the interactions
  • Create a time to practice
  • Make it enjoyable!!!

Peer Networks
  • A clique or group that the student could join
  • Train the group on ASD and strategies that can
    help them to prompt social interactions
  • Monitor the group

  • Can use to teach a variety of different social
  • Written script for a specific setting or
    situation What do they need to do or to say
  • Role Play

5 Point Scale
  • Kari Dunn Buron
  • Used to explain the grey areas
  • Gives students a visual picture
  • Use in unison with social stories and cartooning

Temple Grandins Social Rule System
  • Really bad things
  • Assault
  • Courtesy rules
  • Saying please and thank you
  • Illegal but not bad
  • speeding
  • Sins of the System (SOS)
  • illogical rules that must be absolutely followed
  • you will be fired from work if you commit an SOS
    no matter how good your work it.
  • Temple Grandin

Power Cards
  • Elisa Gagnon
  • Present a short scenario of how a childs hero/
    favored topic solves a problem (written in first
  • Then present the power card which tells how the
    child can use the same strategy that their hero
    used ( in 3-5 steps) and a picture of the hero /
    special interest
  • Introduce one card at a time
  • To be carried in a pocket, wallet, etc. and is
    easily accessible by the student at all times
  • New cards can be added when the first skill has
    been internalized by the student

Social Thinking and the Social Skills Mapping
  • Michelle Garcia Winner
  • A cognitive behavior strategy to teach
    individuals about the specific relationship
    between behaviors, other's perspective, other's
    actions (consequences), and the student's own
    emotions about those around him or her.
  • Promotes understanding of these abstract concepts
    through a Flow Chart

Social Autopsy
  • Helps the students understand their social
  • When the mistake occurs the student talks with
    the teacher to identify the mistake and who was
    harmed by it
  • Then the student and the teacher make a plan to
    prevent reoccurrence
  • This is NOT a punishment!

Video Modeling
  • More effective than live modeling
  • Leads to generalization of skills
  • Shows dramatic impact and quick progress
  • Uses the highly visual learning style without
    requiring the difficult social interaction
  • Is focused on the skill being taught and does not
    have much other stimuli

Video Self Modeling
  • A short (no more than a minute or two) video
    showing the student completing something
  • Prompts, mistakes, assistance are edited out so
    that the student sees themselves doing the task
  • Skill being addressed must be within the ability
    level of the child.
  • Can be role playing or in a natural setting

References and Further Resources
  • Bellini, S. (2006). Building Social
    Relationships. Shawnee Mission, Kansas Autism
    Asperger Publishing Company.
  • Buron, K.D. (2007). A 5 is against the law!
    Social boundaries Straight up! An honest guide
    for teens and young adults. Shawnee Mission,
    Kansas Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
  • Buron, K.D. Curtis, M. (2003). The incredible
    5-point scale Assisting students with autism
    spectrum disorders in understanding social
    interactions and controlling their emotional
    responses. Shawnee Mission, Kansas Autism
    Asperger Publishing Company.
  • Gagnon, E. (2001). Power cards Using special
    interests to motivate children and youth with
    asperger syndrome and autism. Shawnee Mission,
    KS Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
  • Grandin, T. Barron, S. (2005 ). Unwritten rules
    of social relationships Decoding social
    mysteries through the unique perspectives of
    autism. Shawnee Mission, Kansas Autism Asperger
    Publishing Company.

References and Further Resources cont.
  • Gray, C.
  • Gutstein, S. E. Sheely, R. K. (2002).
    Relationship Development Intervention with
    Children, Adolescents, and Adults. United
    Kingdom Jessica Kingsley
  • Henry S. Myles, B.S. (2007). The comprehensive
    autism planning system (CAPS) for individuals
    with aspergers syndrome, autism, and related
    disabilities Integrating best practices
    throughout the students day. Shawnee Mission,
    KS Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
  • McAfee, J. (2002). Navigating the social world A
    curriculum for individuals with Aspergers
    Syndrome, high functioning autism and related
    disorders. Arlington, TX Future Horizons.
  • Moyes, R. A. (2001). Incorporating Social Goals
    in the Classroom. United Kingdom Jessica
    Kingsley Publishers Ltd.
  • The Behavior Guy http//
    ideo.php?viewkey8e8dc6f99b975754493e and
  • Winner, M.G.