Social Skills

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by WaterfallLady, May 2, 2013.

  1. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    May 2, 2013

    I'm looking for some sort of social skills program for next year for my self-contained life skills class. Most of them are socially pretty high for life skills kids. Here is an example of about where we are in terms of social functioning:
    • Most of them can greet someone who enters a room, but they don't know what to do afterwords.
    • They rattle on and on about subjects that others don't care about, but they can't put themselves in others' shoes. Perspective taking is far beyond them at this point.
    • Sometimes they say REALLY inappropriate things, innocently. Think preschoolers.

    So, who has kids like this and what do you use? We use a lot of social stories right now and those are ehh. I had a book "Social Skills for Secondary Students with Special Needs" but it's too hard.
     
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  3. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    May 3, 2013

    I am also looking for a program. I am familiar with that book and its endless worksheets and written words. Something with pictures and sight words perhaps.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    May 3, 2013

    I am looking also. I did find a few sites with social stories but the free ones are terrible and I can't pay for anything extra right now out of my own money, especially if I dont' know if they will be worth it.
     
  5. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    May 3, 2013

  6. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    May 6, 2013

    I have a book called "super skills", targeted at the asd population, but good for any kids in need of social skills instruction. My k-2 kids are too young for it,but I think it would be good for grades 4 and up. I don't have it here in front of me, but if you want a more in- depth description, let me know.
     
  7. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    May 6, 2013

    You might want to get the book Crafting Connections by Michael Taubman. It shows you how to teach social skills to students with autism, but it can be used with other students. If you go to autismteaching strategies.org you can find some free social skills lessons to download. I have used some of them.
     
  8. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 7, 2013

    The Anger Replacement Training series by Goldstein is pretty inexpensive and research-based, and focuses both on social skills and moral reasoning (which involves social perspective-taking) and is geared toward grades 6-12:

    http://www.amazon.com/Aggression-Replacement-Training-Comprehensive-Intervention/dp/0878226370

    The skillstreaming series is similar and by the same author, and may have some similar materials. The skillstreaming series definitely focuses more teaching specific skills, as opposed to a lot of the social problem-solving, perspective-taking, etc. that goes on cognitively behind the skill:

    http://www.skillstreaming.com/

    At the very least, both are relatively cheap resources and should give you some decent ideas.

    I think a big element often missed in social skills curricula which also may be an issue is the value or purpose behind various social skills, as well as the "when." My experience has been that, many times, kids are aware of the "topography" of the expected skill - e.g., they know how to physically "raise their hand." Rather, they struggle with knowing the importance of that skill, so frequently don't choose it. Or, they may have a skill such as "asking the teacher for help," but not know when to use it (which is essentially a problem with tattling - we DO want kids to ask us for help, but not in certain situations). Moral reasoning training gets into this, but I also think it's important to beef up your social skills training with discussion and examples that really drive home these points.

    Another element of social skills training to think about, which the skillstreaming series gets into, is the integration of social skill support strategies throughout the school day. Social skills training can't simply be a 20 minute activity, but really is an adapted behavior management system throughout the day. Programs/systems like PBIS and Whole Brain Learning will incorporate elements of social skills training and support throughout the day, which is - to me - a huge reason why they are successful.

    Finally, I would consider not only adopting a particular program, but problem-solving specific issues your class is having, and tailor strategies around that. For example, having a "class meeting" for 10 minutes each morning where you review the previous day and plan alternative strategies for success might be something helpful. You also might have specific kids that are demonstrating particular difficulty with certain skills, which may be due also to other issues outside of social skills acquisition, of course, such as emotional arousal issues or cognitive flexibility.
     

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