Professional Development

 

Workshops on Social Skills

The Cody Center offers two introductory and two advanced workshops on social skills. Social skills are the foundation of establishing and maintaining friendships. Social skills are important for success in school, and they are critically important in maintaining employment as adults. The social skills deficits of people with ASDs often significantly impact every area of their lives and require direct teaching. The two introductory presentations on social skills focus on a broad understanding and review of social deficits, social-emotional needs, and how these translate into behavior. Techniques for assessment of social skills will be discussed. Those workshops address how to establish the structure required for social skills training, and how to incorporate the learning styles of these students into social skills instruction. In addition, choosing appropriate social goals and objectives for a student’s IEP will be discussed. The advanced workshops build upon the topics discussed in the introductory workshops on social skills. Topics discussed in the advanced workshops can be individualized to address the needs, concerns, and strengths of specific students within a school district.

Introduction to Teaching Social Skills I – Strategies for Elementary Students

This introductory workshop focuses on the specifics needed to teach social skills to elementary school students. During elementary school years the foundation of social development is established and includes: skills needed for reciprocal play; turn taking and sharing; recognition and expression of emotions; negotiation and compromise; dealing with competition; establishing and maintaining friendships, conversation skills, and interacting within a group. The presenter will discuss how current concepts of theory of mind and typical social development can influence the selection of tasks, activities and the creation of social skills curricula. The presenter will demonstrate activities that can be used during social skills training sessions. Techniques that increase the likelihood of generalizing skills from group sessions to other settings will be discussed. 

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the learning styles that are frequently encountered in students with ASDs
  • Describe how the learning style for students with ASDs can be incorporated into social skills training
  • Identify 3 principles related to establishing structure within a social skills group
  • Describe 3 activities and techniques that can be used to promote social skills acquisition
  • Write social goals and objectives, which can be utilized as part of the student’s IEP
  • Describe techniques that can be used to generalize strategies across settings

Introduction to Teaching Social Skills II – Strategies for Middle and High School

Adolescence represents a time of change and new challenges. Added social opportunities and demands are present for all adolescents as the peer group becomes more important. Adolescents are dealing with puberty, striving for greater autonomy, and may be beginning to develop more intimate social relationships. These typical challenges of adolescence are often daunting for students with ASDs, and may become sources of confusion, anxiety, and, in some cases, depression. This presentation will describe how typical development and the theory of mind can contribute to the development of social skills curricula for adolescents. There will be an emphasis on developing activities that address: specific social skills, including those that address perspective taking; expression of feelings; developing coping strategies; and understanding the “hidden curriculum”. 

Learning Objectives: 
Participants will be able to

  • Describe the learning styles that are frequently encountered in students with ASDs
  • Describe how the learning style for students with ASDs can be accommodated in social skills training
  • Identify 3 principles related to establishing structure within a social skills group for adolescents
  • Describe 3 activities and techniques that can be used to promote social skills acquisition
  • Write social goals and objectives, which can be utilized as part of the student’s IEP
  • Describe techniques that can be used to generalize strategies across settings

Advanced Topics in Teaching Social Skills

These workshops are offered to further support the interest of school personnel to develop effective social skills strategies working with adolescents or elementary students. Teachers and related service providers may attend this advanced workshop after completing the introductory workshop. Topics are developed in collaboration with personnel from the school district. Participants have the opportunity to create their own activities for use in a social skills group.

 

Last updated by bcole on July 18, 2014

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