Autism and Social Skills Development
Supporting social interaction is an important piece of the student’s educational plan. Student’s with autism often have the desire to interact with others, but do not have the skills to engage appropriately or may be overwhelmed by the process. Some students are painfully aware of their social deficits and will avoid interactions even though they desperately want to connect with others. Others will engage in attention seeking behavior to connect with others until they build the skills they need to interact. Social development represents a range of skills, including timing and attention, sensory integration and communication, that can be built and layered to improve social competence. Building competence will result in further interest and interaction.
Big Mack: To increase attention to large group listening/reading activities, record a repetitive line from a story, along with a corresponding visual representation system placed on top of the Big Mack. Example: A picture of the Big Bad Wolf placed on the Big Mack switch with the repetitive line "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down" recorded.
Faces & Feelings Listening Lotto
Feelings Skills Charts
Basic Skills Board
Kaspar may look a little creepy, but he's helping autistic children learn how to communicate safely and effectively. The child-like robot can talk and sing, comb his hair, and imitate eating, and the simple design of his face makes facial expressions easier to read. He also responds to touch, letting a child know if they are too rough during play.
Voice In the Box: This device can help the child to focus his attention during large grouplistening activities. These activities tend to be very difficult for children with autism. Again, countless activities can be created and incorporated into any large group listening time. Example: When the teacher is reading a book aloud to the class, numerous lines from a book can be visually represented with a corresponding recorded message on the buttons. The child can "assist" in "reading" the story by pushing the appropriate buttons for the story. Repetitive line books such as "Brown Bear" work great. The child can push the button for "Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?" Another example would be the line "...but he was still hungry" from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". Circle time activities can be programmed in a similar manner.
VOCAs as Reinforcement: Many students with autism find the VOCAs to be very reinforcing and thus provide the necessary motivation to attend to and complete other less desirable tasks/activities, if allowed to interact with the VOCA upon completion of those tasks.
Photo Social Stories Cards - About Kids in the Community
Shopping List Memory Game
Language Builder Emotion Cards
Mood Predicting Wearables