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The Multi-Media Social Skills Projects for Adolescents and Adults teaches skills that are relevant for teens and adults such as how to effectively use humor and sarcasm as well as job-related skills like anxiety management. When choosing social skills to target, it’s important to focus on skills that are relevant and meaningful to the individual. It’s also important to consider life circumstances, goals, and skills needed to reach these goals.
Social skills training is one of the most consistently identified needs, with 55% of adolescents and 58% of adults with autism living in PA not receiving adequate training.*
*2011 ASERT PAAutism Needs Assessment
Consider Short- and Long-Term Goals
Learn About Identified Skills and Goals
Get Practice Using Skills
One of the first social skills to teach is conversation skills. Mastering conversation skills can be difficult, but beginning with basic skills and then adapting them for a variety of contexts can help expand abilities and teach individuals how to navigate social relationships. When tailoring these concepts to individuals, consider the person’s current abilities, circumstances, and social goals to make the skills person-centered.
Back-and-Forth Conversation: Teach the general rule of conversation partners sharing 50/50 of the conversation. Use the idea of a game of catch. Topics and ideas are “tossed” back and forth between two or a group of people several times until the topic is changed to a new subject.
Stay on Topic: Learning how to stay on topic can be difficult. People may not know what to say or run out of ideas. But staying on topic makes others feel comfortable in interactions. Teaching a skill such as asking showing interested body language, can improve conversation skills.
Asking relevant questions: Asking questions related to the conversation is a good way to keep a conversation going, and show interest in what the other person is saying. Teach the concept of high-yield, open-ended question to build conversation skills.
Commenting: Commenting shows you are paying attention to the conversation. Commenting demonstrates a level of perspective-taking, being able to make empathetic statements, and sharing the person’s thoughts and feelings on the subject. Remember to balance asking questions and commenting.
|Spotlight On: Social Skills||Communication Domains||Download file: Spotlight On: Social Skills|
|Spotlight On: Social Skills||Choosing Skills to Target||Download file: Spotlight On: Social Skills|
|Spotlight On: Social Skills||Addressing Conversation Skills||Download file: Spotlight On: Social Skills|
|Spotlight On: Social Skills||Video Modeling||Download file: Spotlight On: Social Skills|
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.