Incorporating Social Skills in the School Setting. Tara Childs Heather Weston Hanover County Public Schools. Why?. Why teach social skills. All environments are social Compensation for social skills deficits is impossible
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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 impossible • 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
Social Interaction • Joint Attention • Process of sharing one’s 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
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 introduced.
Programming cont. • Paraprofessionals: • Carry over the lessons introduced in the special education classes. • Use social thinking vocabulary during teachable moments. • Help integrate the ideas of social thinking across the day.
Learning to monitor one’sown behavior • Encourage students to define and track one or two behaviors related to classroom cooperation or productivity. • Have them reward themselves for sticking with their target behavior. • Create behavior charts or use with a behavior contract
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 others • Works to teach the hidden curriculum • Should be positive • Make sure to explain vs. tell • Should be reviewed daily and before each social event
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
Scripting • Can use to teach a variety of different social skills • 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 Grandin’s 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 child’s hero/ favored topic solves a problem (written in first person) • 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 Technique • 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 mistake • 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 successfully. • Prompts, mistakes, assistance are edited out so that the student sees themselves doing the task independently. • 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. www.thegraycenter.org • 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 asperger’s syndrome, autism, and related disabilities: Integrating best practices throughout the student’s day. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company. • McAfee, J. (2002). Navigating the social world: A curriculum for individuals with Asperger’s 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 Guyhttp://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=8e8dc6f99b975754493e and http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=31727f3e7be457307c3a • Winner, M.G. www.socialthinking.com