Date
19 January 2020

Teach social interaction skills

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Supporting language and communication skills’

Review students’ social development

Review students’ social development

A student’s social development determines how they interact with others.

When a student experiences difficulty in social situations, consider:

  • Is the student mature enough to understand what is wanted?
  • Have the social expectations been explained in ways the student can understand?
  • Do they have the necessary skills, including vocabulary?
  • Have they had opportunities to learn and practice the expected social skills?

Targeted social skills teaching

Targeted social skills teaching

Sometime students may need targeted teaching of social skills.

For example, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often need specific teaching to learn how to initiate interactions, share, and take turns.

Steps to consider:

  • Define one or more social behaviours the student needs to learn, in measurable terms.
  • Use a range of teaching techniques (for example, structured discussions, social stories).
  • Facilitate the generalisation of social skills to peers through role-playing and video modeling.
  • Transition from a structured teaching situation to everyday situations – the student may need supports to achieve this.
  • Check for social validity – can the student use the new skills in different situations?

Source: LaMarca, V. ( Ed). Teaching social skills to children with autism. Lovaas Institute: Indianapolis.

Activities to improve social interaction skills

Activities to improve social interaction skills

The social skills toolbox at Do2Learn has a range of activities on the following topics.

Create exemplars of social scenarios

Create exemplars of social scenarios

Use photos to identify characteristics of an interaction, such as physical space or facial expressions.

Reflective questions

Reflective questions

Adapt for your own context.
  • Which social interaction skills need strengthening in my class/es?
  • How can I embed teaching social interaction skills into my regular teaching programme?

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Improving communication skills

Publisher: Do2Learn

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Supporting language and communication skills”:

Return to the guide “Behaviour and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Behaviour and learning

Strategies for action:

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