Social Skills

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  • Many parents of children with significant cognitive disabilities echo this sentiment concerning their child's social functioning. They know that their children have many wonderful qualities to offer others, but the nature of their disability, or more precisely, their social skill difficulties, often preclude them from establishing meaningful social relationships. This frustration is amplified when parents know that their children want desperately to have friends, but fail miserably when trying to make friends.
  • Meaningful Relationships: We have to discard the long-held notion that individuals with ASD lack an interest in establishing social relationships. Many do desire social relationships. However, they typically lack the necessary skills to effectively establish social relationships, or want to establish relationships on with people whom they have not interest in interacting with.Teach Social Skills: There is a marked difference between teaching social skills and expecting somebody to perform them. Many behavioral and educational plans expect the child to perform socially without providing a framework for actually teaching skills. Such plans typically describe how social skills will be reinforced and encouraged, or how social opportunities will be provided, but rarely do they lay out a plan for directly teaching social skills. P. 13Think about if you were told that you would be participating in a dance recital in two weeks. But what if you didn’t know how to dance?Successful social behaviors not always appropriate Example of this: passing gas…. Passing gas is a skill that is both prized and valued by boys all over the county. Many adults find it disgusting and generally agree that it should be avoided in most contexts and settings. However…it is a behavior that can put a young man on the fast track to social success! I use to teach my students “proper manners’ instead of teaching functional social skills. “Hello, my name is Scotty, how are you today”. How would that hold up in a high school?Adapt to environment: The social skills be engage in are dependent upon the setting that we must function in. For example, the behavior expected in a library is different than the behavior at a sporting event. Think of the volume of voice, content of our discussions and the movements of our bodies based on the expected pattern of behavior. The same is true with our patterns of interactions. We act differently toward our boss or a police officer than how we act with our friends. The ability to adapt to the environment is critical for successful social interactions and is dependent upon our ability to successfully read and understand nonverbal and contextual cues.Social skills not the same as academic: Interacting with peers is more similar to dropping back to pass and reading a defense in a football game than it is to reading a book or doing a math problem. Therefore, we cannot expect to be able to teach social interaction skills in the same way we do academic skills. Social interaction skills are learned and mastered through practice and performance.
  • Show book and explain that it was used as a primary reference for this social skills section.
  • The most important aspect of the definition is the phrase “learned behaviors”. Social skills are indeed learned behaviors. “Neurotypical” children acquire basic social skills quickly and easily through experience, modeling and trial and error… they seem to be “pre-wired” to learn and perform social behaviors. Students with ASD and other social difficulties require these skills to be taught explicitly.We are not focusing on “pro-social” skills such as raising your hand to speak or standing quietly in line or other behaviors that make adults happy. We are focusing on “social interaction skills” because the term accentuates the human interactional component of social skills.Sometimes we focus too much on what adults will appreciate such as manner and etiquetteSocial interactions skills are not always “appropriate” social behaviors
  • Social interactions involve integrating three components: thinking, feeling, and doing. These components do not work in isolation. Instead they work in concert, each capable of promoting or hindering successful social performance.Thinkinginvolves knowing what to do (declarative knowledge) and how to do it (procedural knowledge). Thinking also involves taking another person’s perspective and self-awareness.Social Cognition –Knowing and thinking about oneself and others as individuals and about the relationships, values and customs among groups of people.understand the thoughts, intentions, motives and behaviors of ourselves and othersknow and understand social norms, customs, and valuesFeeling involves regulating emotions, such as anxiety, that might otherwise hinder successful social performance.Feelings directly influence our behavior, thoughts, and physiological processingFeelings have a reciprocal relationship with our thoughtsEven after a child has developed sufficient social-cognitive processing to be able to interact successfully with others, her social performance may still be significantly impacted by her feelings or emotions.How might our emotions impact social functioning?? Anyone ever had a bad day or perhaps an exciting/special day knows the answer…. Our emotions significantly impact both our motivation and our ability to interact socially.Feelings influence whether we approach, avoid, or withdraw from social situationsDoing involves the execution (e.g. motor movements) of the social performance. Often overlooked in social skill programs. For example, once we make a cognitive decision of when and how to initiate a conversation…we have to do it. Doing involves coordinating gross-and fine motor movements with language production and then integrating these actions with thinking and feeling.
  • It is important to understand that specific social skills do not operate in isolation. Every social skill is made up of component or related sub-skills that are required for successful performance of the skill. For instance, successfully performing the social skill of “joining in a conversation” requires certain prerequisite skills, such as the ability to read nonverbal and contextual cues, knowledge of social rules (e.g. when to join a conversation with two people without interrupting), regulation of emotion, coordination of motor movements, timing, use of eye contact and other nonverbal expression, and effective conversational planning, just to name a few.
  • Why is it important?Foundation of successful interactionsAll social interaction skills require the ability to read and understand non-verbal cus of othersOne of the first skills that should be taught to a childDifficulties the student displays:Oblivious to the nonverbal communications of othersLook for clues but don’t interpret them correctlyAttend to irrelevant detailsHave difficulty recognizing emotions and inferring emotions of non-verbal cues
  • Social initiations are activities that involve joining into social activities greetings and asking questions.Some students rarely initiate interactionsHave fear and anxiety towards social relationshipsGoal with this group is to increase social interactionsSome students initiate frequently, but inappropriatelyInteractions are inappropriate-bad timing, interruptingRepetitive questionsOnly talk about their interestsGoal with this group is to get the to initiate better
  • Reciprocity and terminating interactions involve the give and take of a conversationDifficulties:Social reciprocityOne sided interactionsFail to read the cues that signal the end of a conversationTerminatingDifficulty ending on interactionGood ByeThanks for your helpIt’s been nice talking to you
  • Social cognition is the ability to process social information which includes social problem soling and social rules.DifficultiesSocial CognitionDifficulty processing social informationDifficulty with “WHY” questionsUnwritten RulesDifficulty understanding the “hidden Rules”Hidden Curriculum-Brenda Smith MylesMultiple View pointsSee only one correct answerSlow Processing SpeedTake longer to respondAnswering questions literally- How are you?There is a hidden curriculum/expectations buried throughout the day that our students will not know. The set of rules that no one ha been directly taught but that everyone knows. So..you have to teach it. Start with the dey vocabulary: For your room, what do you say, do, or gesture that provide cues for your students about your intentions expectations.
  • Perspective taking and self-awareness are major deficit areas for students with autism. These deficits often lead to inappropriate behaviors.Difficulties: Perspective TakingSimon Baron Cohen-Theory of MindTaking another person’s perspectiveRecognizing that other people have thoughts and feelingsMaking socially inappropriate commentsFail to consider interests of othersSelf awareness deficitsDifficult with hygieneDifficulty with maintaining personal space
  • Social anxiety and social withdrawal is common with individuals with autism. The social anxiety can lead to social isolation and withdrawal.Difficulties:Social anxietyIntense fear of social situations (public speaking)Prefer one on one interactionsPrefer structured social actiitiesAvoidanceDenies the individual the opportunity to learn, acquire, and practice social interaction skillsCan lead to peer failure and negative peer interactions
  • We don’t teach “friendship skills” or “social skills” just like a math teacher wouldn’t say I am teaching Johnny “math skill” or a dance teacher saying I am teaching Sarah “dance skills. Must use assessment. We teach specific skills that comprise “social skills”. Instead of spending countless hours teaching the concept of friendship , the instruction should focus on skills that the child could use to make and keep friends.
  • This is important because you want to deliver an intervention that addresses the specific deficit area of the individual and deliver the correct intervention.Skill: For example, a child with ASD may not know how to effectively initiate a conversation with another person; therefore, he/she often fails to initiate conversations. We have to teach the necessary skills to do so.Performance: The student has the skill to initiate a conversation but for some reason chooses not to. In this case, we wouldn’t teach the student how to start a conversation, rather find out why…such as motivation, anxiety, sensory sensitivities.Example: If Tommy has not learned the skill of hitting a ball…all the reinforcement in the world won’t teach him…he has to be explicitly taught.
  • Have participants practice with the board and share something they have learned today.
  • Idioms are a figure of speech such as:Raining cats and dogsBack street driverPiece of cakeHitting the sackHave participants share one idiom with their table or shoulder partner
  • ThoughtsImportant to introduce the concept of thoughtsEveryone has themThey are not all the sameRemind them that where a person is looking can help you know what they may be thinkingCan be differentiated into green, yellow and red thoughts Some thoughts can be said, some maybe said and others cannot be said
  • We don’t teach “friendship skills” or “social skills” just like a math teacher wouldn’t say I am teaching Johnny “math skill” or a dance teacher saying I am teaching Sarah “dance skills. Must use assessment. We teach specific skills that comprise “social skills”. Instead of spending countless hours teaching the concept of friendship , the instruction should focus on skills that the child could use to make and keep friends.
  • Social Skills

    1. 1. Adapted from “Treasure of Social Tools” created by Kim Copolla, OCPS
    2. 2. “I am not asking for my child to be the life of the party, or a social butterfly. I just want her to be happy and have some friends of her own. She is a wonderful kid, and I hope some day others can see that.”
    3. 3.  ALL students want to establish meaningful social relationships If we want children and adolescents to be successful socially, we must teach them the skills to be successful Successful social behaviors are not always appropriate social behaviors. Social success is dependent upon our ability to adapt to our environment Social interaction skills are not the equivalent of academic skills Scott Bellini, 2006
    4. 4. Scott Bellini
    5. 5.  “Socially acceptable learned behaviors that enable a person to interact with others in ways that elicit positive responses and assist the person in avoiding negative responses. (Elliott, Racine, & Busse, 1995) Social interaction skills are the building blocks of successful social relationships. (Bellini, 2006) The purpose of social skills is to facilitate positive interactions with peers. Bellini (2006) pgs. 1-9
    6. 6. 3 Integrated Components • Social Interaction depends on all 3 components. • Difficullties in any of the 3THINKING components can lead to impairment in social functioning FEELING • They work together to: - promote or hinder successful social interactions DOING Bellini (2008) pgs. 19-34
    7. 7.  Nonverbal Communication Social Interaction Reciprocity and Terminating Interaction Social Cognition Behavior Associated with Perspective Taking and Self Awareness Social Anxiety and Social Withdrawal
    8. 8. •Recognizes the facial •Recognizes the nonverbalexpressions of others cues of body language of others•Maintains eye contactduring conversations •Uses gestures to communicate needs•Has facial expressions that correctly interprets theare congruent with emotion emotions of others•Recognizes the meaning •Demonstrates a wide rangebehind the tone of another of facial expressionsperson’s voice •Modulates the tone of his/her voice
    9. 9. •Join in activities with peers •Invites peers to join into activities•Asks questions to requestinformation about a person •Joins a conversation with two or more people without•Demonstrate proper timing interruptingwith social initiations •Initiates greetings with•Asks questions to request othersinformation about a topic •Introduces self to others
    10. 10. •Takes turns during a game •Maintains the give and take of a conversation•Responds to greetings ofothers •Acknowledges compliments directed at him/her by others•Allows peers to join inactivities •Responds to the invitations of peers to join in to•Ends conversations activitiesappropriately •Reads cues to terminate conversations
    11. 11. • Compromises during •Correctly analyzes socialdisagreements with others situations•Responds promptly in •Understands the jokes orconversations humor of others•Talks about topics that other •Considers multiple viewpointspeople find interesting •Correctly interprets the•Avoid being manipulated by intentions of otherspeers
    12. 12. •Maintains personal hygiene Maintains an appropriate distance when interacting with•Expresses sympathy for others peers•Talks about or acknowledges Speaks wit an appropriatethe interests to others volume in conversations•Provides compliments to others Refrains from making inappropriate comments Offers assistance to others
    13. 13. •Interacts with peers during •Interacts with peers in largeunstructured activities group situations•Interacts with peers during •Attempts to interact withstructured activities unfamiliar peers•Engages in one on one social •Experiences positive peerinteractions with peers interactions •Engages in positive self-talk
    14. 14. 1. Assess Social Functioning2. Distinguish Between Skill Acquisition and Performance Deficits3. Select Intervention Strategies  Strategies That Promote Skill Acquisition  Strategies that Enhance Performance4. Implement Intervention5. Evaluate and Monitor Progress
    15. 15.  Commercial Teacher made Observations Interviews Rating Scales
    16. 16. Books with Assessment Assessment Tools Tools Built In: for Social Skills: http://www.linguisystems.com/ http://www.superduperinc.com
    17. 17. *** THESE ASSESSMENTS CAN BE DONE ONE ON ONE OR WHOLE GROUP ****
    18. 18. *** THESE ASSESSMENTS CAN BE DONE ONE ON ONE OR WHOLE GROUP ****
    19. 19. Skill Acquisition Difficulty: The person does not possess the skill and can not successfully perform the skillPerformance Difficulty: The person has the skill but does not perform the skill.
    20. 20. Promote Skill Acquisition Enhance Social PerformanceThoughts, feelings and Interest Activities Reinforcement/Contingency StrategiesReciprocal Intervention Strategies Gaming SkillsSocial Stories Environmental ModificationsRole Playing Peer Mediated InstructionVideo Modeling Increased Social Opportunities/Live PracticeSocial Problem Solving and Social Rules Disability AwarenessSelf Monitoring Self MonitoringRelaxation Techniques and Emotional Relaxation Techniques and EmotionalRegulation RegulationPrompting Strategies Prompting StrategiesInteraction/Conversation Planning Video Modeling/Social Stories
    21. 21. Check it out! Non-Verbal Teaching Activities “WATCH AND IDENTIFY” Your dog died. “REACT TO A SITUATION” Using both live and video model How do you feel? Students role-play a situation Emotion Charades- Basic Level Emotion Charades- Advanced Level
    22. 22. Use cartoons toteach emotions Capitalize on the child’s “likes” and “preferences”
    23. 23. Checkit out!
    24. 24. A Social Story presents social concepts and rules to students in the form of a brief story.  Written in response to the child’s personal need  Something the student wants to read on own  Match with student’s ability and comprehension  Use less directive terms such as “can” or “could”, instead of “will or “must”. Gray, 1995, 2000Checkit out!
    25. 25. Video modeling intervention involves watching a video demonstration and then imitating the behavior of the model Incorporates visual learning Increases attention Decreases anxiety Increases motivation Increases self-awareness
    26. 26. Great examples Examples of figurative of nonverbal language andbody language nonverbal body language Examples of for all deficit areas
    27. 27. Idea taken from Jill Kuzma http://jillkuzma.wordpress.com Examples: • Don’t argue with a policeman even if you are right. • Don’t tell someone they are fat when they areHidden Curriculum Calendar: Items for • Don’t point out other people’s mistakesUnderstanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations by Brenda Smith Myles and • Don’t insist that other people follow the rules Megan Duncan • Male bathroom rule
    28. 28. “The ball is in your court”
    29. 29.  We have them for all settings Not the same for all settings When we exhibit expected behaviors people have “good thoughts” about us When we exhibit unexpected behaviors people have “weird thoughts” about us These thoughts impact the way others treat us Check it out!Michelle Garcia Winner
    30. 30. Thinking and Saying Thoughts Green thoughts are good thoughts. These are thoughts that you can think in your head and say Okay without offending someone. Yellow thoughts are caution thoughts. These are thoughts that you can think in your head but use cautionCaution when you say them. These are thoughts that are okay to say to some people but not okay to say to other people. Red thoughts are thoughts that you should not say out No loud. These are thoughts you can think in your head but not say. Red thoughts usually offend people when you say them out loud.
    31. 31. Checkit out!
    32. 32. It is a self regulation tool that can assist a person in learning how to think about and understand their emotional responses to a situation. 1. Need to have concept that can be broken into 5 parts. 2. Use a story/social story to teach the 5 parts of the concept. - can be positive or negative 3. Create a scalewww.5pointscale.com
    33. 33. A volume scale A miniature scale for the back of ID badge Modified from Kari Dunn Baron’s book: ‘A 5 Could Make Me Lose Control’
    34. 34. Modified from Kari Dunn Baron’s book: ‘A 5 Could Make Me Lose Control’
    35. 35. Promote Skill Acquisition Enhance Social PerformanceThoughts, feelings and Interest Activities Reinforcement/Contingency StrategiesReciprocal Intervention Strategies Gaming SkillsSocial Stories Environmental ModificationsRole Playing Peer Mediated InstructionVideo Modeling Increased Social Opportunities/Live PracticeSocial Problem Solving and Social Rules Disability AwarenessSelf Monitoring Self MonitoringRelaxation Techniques and Emotional Relaxation Techniques and EmotionalRegulation RegulationPrompting Strategies Prompting StrategiesInteraction/Conversation Planning Video Modeling/Social Stories
    36. 36. Consider…………… Individual Group Classwide Self-contained class Natural environment General education setting Include peers without disabilities
    37. 37.  Progress monitoring Observations  Structured  Natural setting Interviews Rating scales
    38. 38.  Assess Social Functioning Distinguish Between Skill Acquisition and Performance Deficits Select Intervention Strategies  Strategies That Promote Skill Acquisition  Strategies that Enhance Performance Implement Intervention Evaluate and Monitor Progress
    39. 39. Check it out!

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