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Tuesday 21 Nov 2017

Social Skills Assessments and Programs

kids talking in classroom

Assessing and developing intervention programs to address the social skill deficits for students with autism can be difficult. There are many checklists, books, games and other materials available to parents and teachers but it can be very difficult to know what skills to teach and how to teach them. When I’m working with students, checklists can be very helpful because make assessment fairly simple and goals can be chosen directly from the checklists. Another strategy to use is called an ecological assessment. The way this works is to list out all the activities and expectations in a specific environment, then list all of the social skills needed to successfully participate in those activities and meet the expectations, and then assess the student’s current abilities specifically for the environment. This will help teachers and parents clearly define skills to teach that are relevant to the student’s participation in that environment. The following is a list of resources to help parents and teachers assess and teach social skills.

Social Skills Picture Book by Jed Baker
The Social Skills Picture Book uses illustrations to depict social skills, like conversation, play, emotion management and empathy. Demonstrate critical social skills by visually showing children what to do, and how to follow-up with the next steps.

Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond by Jed Baker
Features lessons on making new friends, asking someone out on a date, completing difficult schoolwork, interviewing for a job and being part of a group. All content is with age-appropriate for high school students.

Building Social Relationships by Scott Bellini
Building Social Relationships: A Systematic Approach to Teaching Social Interaction Skills to Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Social Difficulties addresses the need for social programming for children and adolescents with ASD by providing a comprehensive five-step model.

Social Standards at School by Judi Kinney and Tom Kinney
Is it possible to establish standards for social skills like it is for math or reading? The authors of Social Standards at School, a long time special education teacher and a writer and editor, sure think so. Social Standards at School is written to help you set social and behavioral guidelines and establish school-wide social and behavioral standards for all children grades 1–6 (with IEP components for those with special needs). Ideal for student portfolios, it features a concise record-keeping system that helps integrate the teaching of social skills into IEPs.

The New Social Story Book by Carol Gray and Tony Attwood
The New Social Story Book takes children, step-by-step, through basic activities like brushing teeth, taking a bath or wearing a safety belt in the car with simple stories. Each story is accompanied by one or more line drawings to illustrate key points. Carol Gray’s methods of creating a Social Story have become a widely recognized way of teaching social and life skills to children with Autism or Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A revised book, each story included in the New My Social Stories Series is created according to specific criteria based on the learning characteristics of children with ASD.

Teaching Conversation to Children with Autism Lynn E. McClannahan, Ph.D. and Patricia Krantz, Ph.D.
A valuable tool for very young children and non-readers, Teaching Conversation to Children with Autism uses scripts to show parents and educators how to teach students to initiate conversation and improve communication. Engages students in the learning process with word, phrase or sentence scripts (audio-taped or written) that reflect the student’s interests. Explains the script and script-fading processes, and includes many examples to support the instructions. Features scripts with pictures of desired objects or activities.


  1. john3kennedy says:

    I don’t see the author or illustrator listed.

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