Typically ASD students have social skills deficits: this means that they WILL struggle with social awareness, communication and imagination skills. They may also display sensory processing and obsessive behaviours.
The characteristics of social skills deficits ARE common to autism spectrum disorder. Therefore teaching strategies for ASD students should be geared to help the ASD student overcome these difficulties.
Social skills ARE important especially in the classroom or school environment. Teaching social skills to ASD students CAN be achieved using Intervention Strategies.
Intervention Strategies should be visual, research shows us that the majority of those with autism spectrum disorder ARE visual thinkers and learners, this means that they think in pictures and use speech/language as a secondary language.
So using Visual Intervention Strategies is beneficial. There is a wide variety of Visual Intervention Strategies that CAN be used for teaching social skills to ASD students, such as autism social skills stories, communication picture cards, PECS and so on…
Visual Intervention Strategies like autism social skills stories are good teaching strategies for ASD students and CAN be implemented easily and will need NO formal training to use. They ARE simple short descriptive stories normally written to help teach a social, communication, imagination or behaviour.
For example a social story CAN be used to help the student with ASD to develop friendships, ask questions, stay on task, follow school rules, deal with recess and so on.
A social story will follow a set pattern of sentence type and WILL always be written from the ASD students own perspective. It should be Visual and written in word format to allow editing and personalization we all use different terminology and each story should allow for this.
Typically autism social skills stories answer the “wh” questions – who, what, why, where and when as well as HOW and should offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in those with autism spectrum disorder.
Therefore teaching social skills to ASD students using social stories is beneficial. Communication picture cards ARE used in a similar manner. They are excellent for promoting communication skills. For example communication picture cards ARE useful at snack time and CAN be used as an exchange by the student with ASD: a card showing a picture CAN be given to the teacher as an exchange for what is on the card, for example an apple and so on..
Communication picture cards ARE also used effectively on Visual timetables, choices boards and around the classroom showing for example where the coat hooks are the bathroom, sink, pencil tray and so on…
To learn more about teaching social skills to ASD students using social stories and communication picture cards visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school