social skills group final


This is the training for the
functional academic curriculum for exceptional students, FACES, social skills
curriculum. The special ed department has put together a manual that you have been
provided that outlines the TEKS and provides ideas for activities and
lessons for use in your classroom. We need to question this, if a child doesn’t
know how to read. We teach them. If a child doesn’t know how to swim. What do
we do? We teach them. If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach them. If
they don’t know how to drive, we teach them. But if a child doesn’t know how to
behave we teach or do we punish? Why can’t we finish the last sentence as
automatically as we do the others? A picture is worth a thousand words.
You can’t teach children to behave better by making them feel worse.
When children feel better, they behave better. Punishment makes a child feel
worse. Social skills are just as important to teach as academics. We teach academics so that children can make strides and improve in their math,
language, social studies, and science. We need to teach social skills so that
students can do better in their math, language, social studies, and science. So
when we think of social skills, it’s not a quick fix. Sometimes it lasts for a
lifetime. Social ability can be a lifelong problem. Therefore it is
imperative that social skill deficits be identified early and addressed in
much the same ways as we identify and address children’s learning problems.
Because social incompetence can be more debilitating and detrimental to success
in life than learning problems. Hmm… so let’s look at some of these. Do
any of these comments sound familiar? I tell him to stop doing that, but he
keeps on doing it! Darn, this kids must have been raised by
wolves. That kid knows how she’s supposed to behave, she chooses to misbehave. I
asked him what he’s supposed to be doing and he can tell me. He knows better, so
why isn’t he doing it? All the other students know what to do, he just wants
to do what he wants to do. We’ve all said this, right, but you have to think about
it. A lot of our kids don’t know why they
behave in the way that they do. A lot of our kids don’t even understand why they
say the things that they say. As educators, it’s up to us to give them
those tools. How do your students with social needs feel in a social setting. It’s like playing a game and everyone
else knows the rules except me. Think of yourself or everyone wearing glasses. If
they don’t have their glasses, and they have trouble seeing, what you’re asking
them to look at or the child that wears hearing aid and doesn’t have their hearing
aid that day or does not have the battery, it’s like in your own little
world. They don’t know what’s going on because they don’t know what the others
are doing. What are social skills? Social skills can
be survival skills such as listening, following directions, ignoring
distractions, using nice talk, self-monitoring, they can be
interpersonal. This is when you’re interacting with someone else.
Sharing, asking somebody for permission, joining an activity, waiting your turn,
waiting in line, problem-solving when you’re asking for
help, when you need to apologize to someone so that you can help that
relationship, when you have to accept a consequence so that you can move on, when
you’re deciding what to do, you’re in a tough situation, you need to make a
choice, and then there’s conflict resolution. How do you deal with
somebody teasing you? How do you deal with bullying? How do you deal when
you’re losing at a board game? You’re losing in PE, how do you deal with
accusations when somebody accuses you of doing something that you didn’t do? How
do you feel when you’ve been left out of something? How do you feel when
somebody’s trying to tell you to do something that you know you shouldn’t
do? Social skills lessons in the SLC classroom they need to be taught daily.
If you’re at elementary this needs to be part of your schedule and it needs to be
done 15 to 20 minutes a day. If you’re at middle school or high school, then it needs
to be done 30 to 40 minutes a day. All students at an SLC classroom need to be
taught social skills. You can do this in small group. You can do this in whole
group. You need to be aware of your children’s functioning level just like
when you’re teaching them academics, so if they need to be done in small group,
so that you’re addressing their functional level and giving them the
lesson at a level that they can understand it, small group may be the
best way to teach the social skills. These skills are TEKS. They’re under the
social studies and the personal health section of the F.A.C.E.S curriculum. They are a part of the state mandates. So what’s in our manual? We’re going to go through
the manual with you and we’re going to break it out by elementary, middle, and
high school. The elementary socialization. The list
may be long, but did you actually look at it. You do most of this every day, or a
couple times a week. The student will play unattended and that’s pretty much
playing in the break area by themself or with friends, but there’s no adult
sitting right there watching him. Student will initiate the play activity.
If given the activity, the child may reach for it or may point to it to show
what to do or how to play with it. Student will engage in solitary play and
the presence of other students. Student will respond to his or her name and that
could be yes/no or can be a gesture by looking at a person or reaching out to
that person talking to them. Student will respond to and make greeting salutation. Student will say please and thank you and at appropriate time. They
may not be able to say it, they can always use like a simple little
flashcard or even a gesture for please and thank you or the Big Mac or any
other assistive technology devices. Students will engage in parallel play.
Students will share a toy with a peer and that is pretty much sitting with
somebody in the same group and just letting the other person take a turn or
passing the toy over, but the child needs to be taught how to do that. They are
used to having it all to themselves. A student will wait his or her turn and
that can be done all day even in group activity. When you’re raising your hand
or they want to talk, they have to wait for their turn. Student will initiate peer
contact. Student will engage in cooperative play and they will indentify
a friend. And that is pretty much looking at the other friend, noting there’s a
friend there. Maybe they have a picture of that friend. Student it will remain at the
table throughout the meal and again this one it really has to be
taught to them. How they sit. How they should be turned around facing the other
children at the table and paying attention to what’s going on in front of
them with their tray. Student will identify the ownership and answer the
phone appropriately. Student will exhibit synthetic behavior and concern for
others. Student will identify the basic emotion. How they feel. They’re sad. They’re
happy. Student will identify positive traits of self and other. They know how
they feel but they need to look at the others and see his face is sad why is
he crying. They can ask for help and understanding the other child. The student
will accept praises given by adults or even given by their peers and student will accept constructive criticism. Elementary behavior continuous… Student will comply
with parents and teachers requests. They can be verbal requests.
They can also be visual or they can be modeled to them on how to request.
Student will respond to stop. The word stop the picture of stop, the hand gesture, or
the sign for stop can be used. Student will repeat a phrase performance due to
a carry out simple command, sit, stand walk quiet. And again those can all the
verbal, visual, or gestures. Student will come to an activity when called. Student
will put things away upon request. Student will identify and accept classroom
responsibilities. Classroom responsibilities has to be taught. They
need to know what is expected of them and others. Student will work for the fair
reward. And student will identify a appropriate behavior in a community
environment. And also student will define various emotional layers of themselves
or others. Middle-school socialization. Student will
identify ways personal behavior affects others. Student will identify ways that
peers are alike and different. Student will make and maintain friendships. As
you’re going through the manual, you will notice that we have added activities
along with the activities that have been suggested by the state. Students will
recognize and handle peer pressure at the middle school level. We rely heavily
on how peers are getting along with other peers. This is the age where
they’re really noticing their peer group. They’re wanting to get along with other
students. They’re wanting to have friends. And conflicts can arise so this is where
we really need to directly teach them those coping techniques. Teach them how
to interact with others, how to have carry on a conversation, how to have that
give-and-take. Student will listen and respond appropriately.
They’ll make eye contact. They’ll wait for a turn to speak.
They’ll stay on a topic of conversation. You can also use social stories to help
with this. You can use conversation bubbles. There’s lots of different things
that can help with this. These are within the manual. Behavior continued … student
will comply with parent and teacher requests. Student will respond to stop.
Often times we want to go straight to “no”, especially by the time a student is
in middle school. They have heard “no” so many times that oftentimes they don’t
even hear it anymore or they just tune it out,
so if you say their name, and stop or stop and their name, that will get their
attention much quicker. Student will repeat appraised performance. If you
praise a student give them specific praise. Often times that will help them to
repeat that performance. Student will carry out simple commands a lot of times.
We use too much verbiage or we give too many commands at one time, we need to
stop and focus on helping them understand and carry out one simple
command at a time. Give that specific praise and then move on before we start
giving commands. Student will come to an activity when called. Student will put
things away upon request. Student will identify and accept classroom
responsibility. At elementary we were wanting them to be responsible for
themselves, now we’re moving to being responsible for the classroom. Student
will work for deferred rewards at elementary. They’re working for the
immediate rewards now. We’re looking at working for deferred rewards. This is
when we’re using token systems, where they’re getting the token that leads up
to a reward later on. Soon we’ll identify appropriate behavior in the community
environment. As you can see, this is when we start doing our community based
instruction. Student will define various emotional moods. Again, this is building
upon the concepts that we taught at elementary, self-concept. Student will
identify necessary characteristics of a good self-concept. If you don’t feel good
about yourself, you don’t want to behave. If you don’t feel good about yourself,
why would you want to have friends? Student will increase self acceptance by
identifying personal strengths and limits. What are they good at.
What do they need to work on? We all do that. We need to help teach our students
to do that. Student will identify ways in which the actions of others affect one’s
feeling of worth. Think about when you overhear someone saying something about
you. If you overhear someone saying something
good about you all of a sudden you feel like doing more work. You feel like doing
a better job. You feel like doing the repeated performance. If you hear
somebody saying something negative about you. do you want to try anymore? Student
will identify ways in which one’s emotions affect behavior of self and
others. In middle school that’s when they start to notice that if they’re
aggressive, if they’re throwing things, and students start moving away from them,
then maybe those students won’t want to be their friends. That’s when they’re tuning
in and caring. High school. So now we’re at the high school level, and as you can
see some of these mimic each other, but it doesn’t always mean that we’re doing
the same thing with our students because of course they grow older and so we want
to do different things with them based on their age level. So we start with
socialization. Student will identify ways personal behavior affects others. This is
really important. They should know and be aware that the things they do and say
can affect someone else and either a positive or negative way.
Student will identify ways that peers are alike and different. This is also
important. They should understand that not everyone is the same. Everyone’s
different. Students will make and maintain
friendships. This is also really important. Maintaining friendships, having
someone to talk to, students were recognized and handled peer pressure. We
all know that in high school peer pressure is a big thing.
Students will listen and respond appropriately. How do they respond
appropriately? What are some of the things that they should do to show us
that they’re responding. Well, making eye contact, that lets the person know hey I have
their attention. This person is actually listening to me, waiting for a turn to
speak. This is also important on the high school level. There’s so many things that
we have when we’re working with others, but we have to wait and listen and then
we have to speak so that we can show the other person respect, and that we are
actually listening to what they’re saying. Staying on topic of conversation,
a lot of times our students only want us to hear what they want to talk
about, but as educators we have to let them know that we have to actually stay
on the topic of conversation that both parties are discussing and not only just
be centered on what they want to talk about. High school continued… for behavior
students will develop acceptable social behavior by refraining from burping,
interrupting, picking the nose, adjusting undergarments, sneezing or coughing
inappropriately, belching, or passing gas appropriately, discussing
inappropriate topics. yawning inappropriately, talking in an
inappropriate volume, walking inappropriately in crowded areas, and
speaking inappropriately to strangers. As an educator, I’ve definitely experienced
my students doing each one of these behaviors
that have been listed. There’s a social skill that can actually be taught for
each one of these areas. Students will display appropriate manners during
school situations. Having appropriate manners is very important. Not only at
home, but also in the school environment. For instance, when they’re eating
breakfast in the morning, when they’re eating lunch, even a lot of times in high
school, you have social gatherings to celebrate birthdays, this is also another
time where you want your students to have good manners. Students will identify
interest and abilities in order to develop personal goals. Sometimes our
students need to know… hmm…what are some things that I’m good at? If I’m good at
these things, these may be things that I’m actually interested in. Sometimes we
just have to give them the tools to show them. What their interests and abilities
may be. Students will develop self-monitoring abilities.
Students will list possible causes for given emotions and
describe personal emotional states. This is very important. Being able to explain
why you feel a certain way, can help us help students even more, but sometimes
our students lack this ability, so as educators we can arm them with some of
the things that we discussed in our previous slides. Maybe pictures of
emotions, pictures of faces, and then actually having them describe why they
feel that way that can even be also done through pictures having them point to
something maybe at home, having them pointing to school, when they do this
this can kind of let us know… hmm… maybe it’s something going on at the
home or maybe it’s something going on at the school, it doesn’t always have
to be verbal, but if it can be verbal, we definitely want it to be. Self-concept. Students will construct a person view of
how others perceive him or her. They can do this by identifying positive traits
of self and identifying positive traits of others. Students will refrain from
making demeaning remarks about self, students will develop and/or maintain a
positive attitude. Students will be a positive participant in planning for his
or her future. This is really important, because at the high school level, they
have the opportunity to also go outt in the community, and when they go out in the
community this allows them the opportunity to see what type of things
they’re interested in. They go to different stores. They go to movie
theatres. They go to restaurants, being in this environment may help them see what
they want to do after they graduate, so here are some fun things that we can
really get into now as educators. We often wonder… hmm… what can I do
or what lessons can I do in order to help my students have better social
skills. When you create games, this is a fun way to get them involved and eager
to learn sample activities to add to your social skills lesson. Reading and
understanding social cues don’t seem easy for children with special needs.
Here are some activities that you can do with your students to help improve their
social skills, eye contact. Eye contact can be tricky because sometimes you want
your student to look at you straighten your eye for minutes upon minutes but
when you really think about it we don’t even do that as adults. We don’t stare at
each other, right, because then we’d kind of feel…hmm… that’s intimidating… hmm…
that’s kind of weird, so here’s an outline of some of the things that you
can do for an eye contact goal. It says good solid eye contact shows others that
we are both interested in what they have to say and we have confidence in our
ability to listen. Having a staring contest this is something that is very
fun and that I’ve actually tested out on some students and it’s very enjoyable.
They become competitive and they want to see who can do it the longest they
actually forget about the fact that they’re actually paying attention to
someone. They’re actually communicating that they’re actually listening. The next
one says eyes on the forehead. When you are with your students, place a sticker
of an eye or a pair of eyes on your forehead, encourage them to look up the
stickers, it may not be exactly looking at your eyes, but it is training them to
look in the right direction, in a funny less threatening way. This is really
awesome, because if you have students that really have a hard time looking
into your eyes, actually putting stickers of eyes on your forehead could be
something you can do to get them to actually being able to looking into your
eyes. So kind of like a prerequisite skill. Reading faces and interpreting
emotions. This skill is important at home, in school, and on the playground. Many
misunderstandings arise from kids misinterpreting the emotions of others.
Sometimes kids can be confused by what a particular look
means, this may easily mistake a look of disappointment and think someone is
angry or they may mistake a nervous expression for a funny one. There are a lot of games that you can
actually play when you’re trying to understand people’s emotions and their
facial expressions, because they’re right. A lot of times even as adults we
misunderstand the emotions of others..hmm.. Emotion charades.
Instead of using movie titles animals or other typical words, use emotions, write
down feelings, feeling words on pieces of paper, or print out and cut up the
worksheet below this will actually be attached and you’ll be able to have
access to it. Take turns picking up a slip of paper and then acting out the
word written on it. You could substitute written words for pictures, showing the
emotion. If kids prefer you can draw the emotion rather than acting it out like a
game. Pictionary. You can make it harder by setting a rule that you cannot draw
the emotion using the face, instead they have to express the feeling by drawing
the body language, or aspects of a situation that will lead to that emotion,
for instance for sadness you can draw a kid standing alone on a
bench on a rainy day. This is really a fun game and it’s up to you to determine
what level that they should be playing with. When people have a conversation,
they pick a topic to discuss, each person adds something to the conversation, until
the conversation has finished or the topic has changed. Sometimes it is hard
for children to stay on topic and take a part of a regular conversation. Here are some activities to help you with staying on topic and carrying on a conversation. Remember this
is also one of the TEKS that we talked about under socialization for high
school. Actually staying on topic, yet this not only happens just in high
school, students in middle school and elementary may also have a problem
staying on topic, so hopefully you can use these as supports for you in the
classroom. First a topic game, play a game with the
alphabet where every letter has to be the beginning of a word, in a theme, such
as a fruit or vegetable. “A” Apple “B” banana “C” carrot. Really simple. Really fun. You
can choose to make it fruits, vegetables junk foods, totally up to you, but it’s
all about staying on topic. Step into the conversation, this is a
learning tool that provides children with autism with the structure and
support they need to hold interactive conversations. Cards provide 22 basic
scripted conversations with areas for the child to fill in the blanks, icons
with labels, run along the top of each card and remind this child to stand, look,
talk, and listen. They’re reminded to listen after they make each statement.
This may also be a time that she wants to incorporate the eyes on the forehead,
are they able to actually look into that person’s eyes as they’re making the
statement. Memory or matching game. Write down idioms on one set of cards
and their meanings on another. Have the child try to pair them up. You can also
add in the literal picture of the idiom to visualize with the idiom that is
being used actually looks like. This is really important because a lot of times
our students with autism have a hard time with expressions, like idioms and
taking things literally so another thing… hmm…maybe a metaphor
sometimes they take that as literally being what you say, but you may actually
want to write down what it actually means, so they actually get the
interpretation of it. You will find attached here some social skills video
links. There are some videos that you can show in your classroom, as well as, there’s
a Pinterest attachment for some social skills activities and some social skills
stories. Attached here you will find an example of a social skills video that is
the from the buddy series. There’s a whole series of videos called the Buddy
Social Skills Stories videos that you can use in your classroom. There’s student portfolio that will be
coming to you later. That should be completed on every student, and it’s
divided up into elementary, middle, and high school, and it goes with every skill
that is within the manual. Here’s an example the student will identify basic
emotions. You will put a date when you’ve introduced the skill, then at progress
updates, you will just put the date where you’re at with that skill. If they’re
making progress, if they’ve mastered it, or if they are simply maintaining it, so
as you can see we’re already doing a lot of the listed expectations. Now we just
need to be consistent and work with our students up to 40 minutes a day to help
increase their social progress. Keep in mind that social skills just aren’t
coming naturally to our students. Some of these skills have to be taught directly.

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