Module 4: Enhancing Social Developing for Students with ASD in General Education Classrooms Lesson 2 Social Skills
Outline Defining Social Skills Examples of Social Skills Selecting Goals Skill Acquisition vs. Performance Deficits Strategies for Teaching Social Skills
Defining Social Skills Social skills can be thought of as skills that assist a student in developing social relationships Bellini (2008) discusses how social skills are learned behaviors that allow a student to interact in ways that result in positive responses from others and avoid negative responses
Examples of Social Skills • Turn-taking • Sharing • Offering help • Accepting help • Conversational skills (beginning, maintaining, ending, or interrupting a conversation) • Allows others to join in play • Joins others in play • Invites others to join in play
Examples of Social Skills • Expresses sympathy for others • Recognizes the facial expressions of others • Requests assistance from others • Understands jokes or humor • Uses eye contact during social interactions • Uses appropriate distance when interacting • Speaks with appropriate volume • Considers the viewpoints of others • Expresses feelings • Greetings (initiate and respond) • Compliments others
Examples of Social Skills • Asks questions to request information • Responds when name is called by teacher or peer • Responds to questions • Uses eye contact during social interactions • Uses gestures during social interactions • Coordinates eye contact, gestures, and words during social interactions • Imitates peers during structured and unstructured situations
Assessing and Selecting Goals • There are a variety of ways of assessing social skills and selecting goals • There are some screeners and questionnaires that are available commercially such as: • The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) • The Social Communication Questionnaires (SCQ) (these are available from Western Psychological Services at : www.wpspublish.com )
Assessing and Selecting Goals • There are also some books available by leading researchers in ASD that contain social skills assessments such as: • The Autism Social Skills Profile found in the book entitled Building Social Relationships (Bellini, 2008) • Assessment of Social and Communication Skills for Children with Autism found in the book entitled Do-Watch-Listen-Say: Social and Communication Intervention for Children with Autism(Quill, 2000) • Super Skills Profile of Social Difficulty found in the book entitled Super Skills: A Social Skills Group Program for Children with Asperger Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism and Related Challenges(Coucouvanis, 2005)
Assessing and Selecting Goals • While the resources presented in the previous slides can be helpful, you do not necessarily need to purchase a variety of books and screeners in order to assess social skills • You can conduct observations of students within natural social settings to determine their strengths and needs related to social skills • You can simply create anecdotal records documenting positive and negative social behaviors • You can also create a list of desirable social skills for the classroom setting and create an informal assessment tool such as the one on the next slide
Never displays the skill • Almost never displays the skill • Sometimes displays the skill • Displays the skill often • Always displays the skill
Assessing for “Contaminating Behaviors” • When determining the needs of the students, look for “contaminating behaviors” (Elsa Abele) • Contaminating behaviors are those behaviors that “turn off” typically developing peers and adults • Goals can be created to replace the contaminating behaviors with appropriate social behaviors • It is important to address these contaminating behaviors as early as possible so negative patterns of interaction do not develop between the students and peers
Social Skills Goals Social skills goals for students with ASD may be on their IEPs However, that doesn’t mean that you are limited to teaching only those social skills It is important to address as many social skills throughout the school year as possible
Skill Acquisition vs. Performance Deficits (Bellini, 2008) • Before deciding on intervention approaches to teach a specific social skill it is important to determine if you are dealing with skill acquisition or performance deficit • Skill acquisition deficit means the student doesn’t possess the skill • Performance deficit means the student has the skill but doesn’t perform the skill
Skill Acquisition If you are dealing with skill acquisition deficit, there are a variety of explicit teaching strategies that can be used to teach social skills. These will be discussed in the strategies section.
Performance Deficits • If you are dealing with performance deficits, the intervention approaches may deal with: • Increasing positive reinforcement for the social skills that are being targeted • Enhancing motivation by providing multiple opportunities for the student to display the social skill within natural social contexts and thus, the student will receive natural positive reinforcement from peers • Reducing anxiety for the student • Making environmental modifications that will promote the use of the skill • Providing reminders by utilizing visual supports that list the steps of specific social skills that the students can refer to
Explicit Instruction (Direct Instruction) • Providing explicit (direct) instruction to teach social skills is very important • For students with ASD, we need to explicitly teach social skills just as we explicitly teach academics to all students • Using a direct instruction model of instruction can be effective when teaching social skills • The next slide lists and describes the steps of direct instruction lessons
Direct Instruction Format Introduction: Introduce the lesson, access background knowledge, provide a rationale Lesson Presentation: Teach the skill using words, visuals, and demonstration Guided Practice: Involve the class in demonstrating the skill through role play Independent Practice: Create multiple opportunities throughout the day for the students to practice the skill. When the students are meeting the expectations, provide positive reinforcement. Provide positive redirection and reminders as needed. Closure: Review the skill the students learned and summarize the importance of using the skill
Activity Schedule (McClannahan & Krantz, 1999) • An activity schedule is a set of pictures or words that cues students to engage in a sequence of activities • Activity schedules are designed to promote independent completion of specific tasks for students with ASD and decrease dependence on prompts and assistance from adults • For social skills, an activity schedule may simply be a step-by-step procedure for the specific skill
Example of an Activity Schedule for Offering Help (Coucouvanis, 2005) • Notice if someone needs help. • Look at what they are doing. • Look at their body language. • Listen to their words and voice tone. • Use a friendly voice • Ask if you can help • If the person says “yes,” then help. • If the person says “no,” do not help.
Power Cards(Gagnon, 2001) • Power Cards are visual aids that incorporate a student’s special interest in teaching social skills • On a single sheet of paper or in booklet form, a scenario is written in the first person describing how the student’s hero solves a problem • A small card (Power Card) recaps how the student can use the same strategy to solve a similar problem
Example of Using the Power Card Strategy to Teach Game Playing Skills The contestants on Survivor love to play games! In fact, playing games on the show is how they win rewards or win immunity. Sometimes the players and teams win their games, but sometimes, they lose. When they win, they give each other "high fives," smile or say, "Alright!" When they lose their game, the Survivors might not be happy. They could take a deep breath and say, "Maybe next time," or say "Good job" to their opponent. The contestants on Survivor think everyone should have fun playing games. They also want you to remember three things when playing games with other people: Games should be fun for everyone. • If you win a game, you can: Smile, give high fives, or say, "Alright!" • If you lose a game, you can: Take a deep breath and say, "Good job" to the opponent or say, "Maybe next time." • Play games the Survivor way and your friends will have fun playing games with you! http://www.autismspectrum.ilstu.edu/resources/factsheets/powercard.shtml
Social Stories (Gray & Garand, 1993) • Social stories are narratives written by parents or professionals that describe social situations in an explicit manner • Social stories can contain words, pictures, or even video clips if you are using computerized social stories • Social stories can be used to teach specific social skills, prepare a student for an upcoming event, or to teach a variety of positive behaviors
Video Modeling Video modeling entails a student watching a video demonstration of students performing a specific behavior and then imitating the behavior of the students in the video (Bellini & Akullian, 2007) Video-self-modeling is a specific application of video modeling that allows the student to imitate targeted behaviors by observing himself successfully performing a behavior (Dowrick, 1999). The student then watches the video and describes what is happening in the video The teacher can then refer to the video as a reminder for the student to display the selected social skill
Writing Social Stories • Gray and Garand suggest three types of sentences when writing social stories: • Descriptive sentences: Explain what occurs and why • Ex. When students enter the classroom, they unpack their backpacks to get ready for the school day. • Directive sentences: Tell the student what to do • Ex. I will hang up my coat on my chair and put my homework folder on my desk. • Perspective sentences: Describe the reactions of others in the situation • Ex. My teacher is happy when we wait quietly while she takes attendance.
Example of a Social Story to Teach a Student to Share Classroom Materials My name is Brad, and I am in Mrs. Smith’s 3rd grade classroom. There are many different types of materials in our classroom that the students share. Some of the things we share are crayons, markers, paper, scissors, glue, and rulers. When I have something that another student needs, I will finish using it as quickly as I can and share it with that student. The student will be happy that I shared. When I need something that another student is using, I will say, “Can I please have that when you are finished?” The student will be happy that I asked nicely. Mrs. Smith likes it when all of her students share the classroom materials.
Social Stories For more information on social stories visit: www.thegraycenter.org The website provides additional examples of social stories and more specific procedures for writing social stories
Comic Strip Conversations (Gray, 1994) Comic strip conversations are simple drawings that depict conversations between two or more people They identify what people say and do and emphasize what people may be thinking
Example of a Comic Strip Conversation to Teach Voice Control http://www.autismspectrum.ilstu.edu/resources/factsheets/comicstrip.shtml
Thought Bubbles(Wellman et al., 2002) Students are given cartoon drawings and asked to fill in what the characters may be thinking in the pictures This is used to teach students to think about the perspective of others (teach theory of mind)
The Incredible 5-Point Scale(Buron & Curtis, 2003) • It may be helpful to use something such as a 5-point scale to help teach a specific social skill. • For example, to teach a student appropriate voice volume, you can use a rating scale to make the concept more concrete. Here is a sample scale: • No talking at all • Soft voice/whisper • Classroom voice/talking • Recess/ outside voice • Screaming/ emergency only
Self-Monitoring Provide the student with a method of monitoring their performance of a specific social skill The goal is that if they are monitoring their performance they are becoming more self aware and more likely to use the specific social skill they are monitoring
Example of a Self-Monitoring Chart to Teach a Student to Respond to Questions from Peers Indicate how many times you respond to a question from a peer during each time frame.
Peer-Mediated Interventions As was discussed in Lesson 1 of this module, peers can be trained to promote the social development of students with ASD Peer-mediated intervention involves systematically training peer mentors on how and when to initiate and respond to their peers with ASD (Bellini, 2008)
Module 4 Lesson 2 Activity Write a goal for a student with ASD related to social skills List and describe the strategies you will use to teach the student the social skill Provide a written reflection on the implementation of the strategies and how the implementation impacted the student’s performance of the social skill
References Bellini, S. (2008). Building social relationships: A systematic approach to teaching social interaction skills to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and other social difficulties. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing. Bellini, S., & Akullian, J. (2007). A meta-analysis of video modeling and video self-modeling interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Exceptional Children, 73 (3), 264-287. 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, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing. Coucouvanis, J. (2005). Super skills: A social skills group program for children with Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism and related challenges. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing. Dowrick, P. (1999). A review of self-modeling and related interventions. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 8, 23-39.
References Gagnon, E. (2001). Power Cards: Using special interests to motivate children and youth with Asperger syndrome and autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing. Gray, C., & Garand, J. (1993). Social stories: Improving responses of students with autism with accurate social information. Focus on Autistic Behavior, 8, 1-10. McClannahan, L. E., & Krantz, P. J. (1999). Activity schedules for children with autism: Teaching independent behavior. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House. Quill, K. A. (2000). Do-watch-listen-say: Social and communication intervention for children with autism. Baltimore, MD: Brookes. Wellman, H. M., Baron-Cohen, S., Caswell, R. C., Gomez, J. C., Swettenham, J., Toye, E. & Lagattuta, K. (2002). Thought-bubbles to help children with autism acquire an alternative to a theory of mind. Autism, 6, 343-363.