The Basics of AutismSpectrum Disorders Training Series Regional Autism Advisory Council of Southwest Ohio (RAAC-SWO) RAAC Training Committee 2011
Training Series Modules Module One: Autism Defined, Autism Prevalence and Primary Characteristics Module Two: Physical Characteristics of Autism Module Three: Cognition and Learning in Autism Module Four: Getting the Student Ready to Learn Module Five: Structuring the Classroom Environment Module Six: Using Reinforcement in the Classroom
Training Series Modules Module Seven: Autism and Sensory Differences Module Eight: Sensory in the Classroom Module Nine: Communication and Autism Module Ten: Communication in the Classroom Module Eleven: Behavior Challenges and Autism Module Twelve: Understanding Behavior in Students with Autism
Training Series Modules Module Thirteen: Social Skills in the School Environment Module Fourteen: Functional Behavior Assessment Module Fifteen: Working Together as a Team Module Sixteen: Autism and Leisure Skills to Teach Module Seventeen: Special Issues of Adolescence Module Eighteen: Safety and Autism Module Nineteen: Special Issues: High School, Transition, and Job Readiness
Training Series Modules Module Twenty: Asperger Syndrome: Managing and Organizing the Environment Module Twenty-One: Asperger Syndrome: Addressing Social Skills
Social Skills Typical students learn social skills through natural development and observation of their peers. Students with Autism, however, must be taught social skills for every environment they will be participating in. We can not assume that students with Autism know what the social “rules” are in an environment. For example, students with Autism have to be taught that when walking up and down the steps at school, stay on the right side and try not to crowd the person in front of you.
Social Skills For students with Autism that are considered “lower functioning” social skills instruction can include teaching : 1. taking turns during a game, 2. waiting their turn, and 3. standing in line. For students with Autism that are considered “higher functioning” social skills instruction can include teaching: 1. bathroom rules, 2. rules in the hallway and lockers, 3. rules in the lunchroom, 4. conversational rules, and 5. recess rules.
Big IdeaWhen a student with Autism is demonstratinginappropriate social behavior (i.e. yelling out in class), one must not assume that they are doing it “on purpose”. We should assume that the student with Autism does not know that the social rule for talking in class is to raise your hand quietly and wait for the teacher to call on you.
StrategiesStrategies for teaching social skills to students with autism include:1. Social Scripts2. Social Stories3. Video Modeling4. Power Cards These strategies should be utilized on a daily basis prior to the student entering into the social situation the strategy is targeting. For example if the social skill being targeted is teaching a student how to walk in the hallway, and the team is utilizing a social script to do this, the social script should be read every time before the student goes out into the hallway.
Social Scripts Provide support and Social scripts often contain instruction by describing pictures and/or photographs. social cues and appropriate responses to social behavior and teaching new skills. These are written by an educator. Social Scripts match the reading level of the student that will be utilizing it.
Video Modeling Students learn how to do something by observing a video of others doing the desired task, activity, or behavior. Video modeling is proactive. The student watches the video before the specific activity, task, or behavior occurs. Video modeling can be used to teach a student expected behaviors in various situations.
Power Card The Power Card is a visual aid that uses the student’s interest to help him/her understand social situations, routines, and expected behaviors. The Power Card is the size of a business card or trading card, contains a picture of the special interest and a summary of the behavior the student should exhibit in a specific situation or how to handle a stressful situation. The Power Card Strategy consists of a script and a Power Card. The Power Card should be portable, used across multiple environments, and portable.
Example of Power CardScenario: Ben is a 9 year old boy. His special interest is the Cincinnati Bengals. If Ben does not understand what he is expected to do, he becomes frustrated, quickly pacing around the room, becoming verbally aggressive and refusing to listen to what people are trying to explain. Using a hero based on his interest (Carson Palmer, the Bengal’s quarterback), Ben’s Power Card gives him 4 options or appropriate choices to help him calm down.
Carson Palmer wants you to remember to choose one of the Power Card following to help you calm down. ExampleScript: Being a quarter back is fun. It is exciting toplay football. Sometimes though, Carson getsfrustrated, especially when he does not understand aplay or what the coach is saying to him. He used toget upset and yell, but he realized this was not thebest way to handle his frustrations. Instead he has learned several ways to calm down. He wants to share these ideas with you. If you get 1. Take 5 deep breaths upset, just try one of the following. If you are still upset, try a different one. 2. Close your eyes and count to 201. Take 5 deep breaths. 3. Listen to your favorite CD with headphones on.2. Close your eyes and count from 1-20. 4. Go to quiet place and look at football3. Listen to your favorite CD with your magazines. headphones on.4. Go to a quiet place and look at football magazines.
Big IdeaUse the student’s special interests as away of motivating him and teaching him social skills. These skills must be practiced several times a day, with different people, and in different places when they are first being learned.