Date
19 July 2019

Teach social skills

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Supporting and strengthening peer relationships’

On this page:

Ideas to support social skills

Ideas to support social skills

A collection of free social skills resources that have been designed to support students on the autism spectrum. These resources could be used to support all students.

Support student interactions

Support student interactions

A student’s social development influences how they interact with others. Social contexts and differences (such as ASD or dyslexia) will shape a student's behaviour.

 

When a student seems uncomfortable in social situations, consider:

  • Are the social expectations mis-matched to the student's stage of development?
  • Have the social expectations been explained in ways the student can understand?
  • Do they have the skills, including vocabulary, to participate equitably?
  • Have they had opportunities to learn and practise the range of social skills needed in a particular context?

Build problem solving skills

Build problem solving skills

In this video, teachers at Mission Hill School (a full-inclusion school in the USA) facilitate student interactions.

Targeted social skills teaching

Targeted social skills teaching

Some students may need targeted teaching of social skills. For example, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder often need specific teaching to learn how to initiate interactions and share and take turns.

  • 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?

Ideas to support self management

Ideas to support self management

When students have strong social skills, they feel more confident negotiating and problem-solving in difficult situations. 

Provide specific teaching to:

  • teach assertiveness – practise saying “no” to things they know are wrong 
  • instill resiliency – practise strategies for facing difficult situations 
  • model empathy – discuss how they feel in different situations and help them to identify how others may feel
  • practise problem-solving – students need to know how to identify their feelings and manage their impulses.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Emotional literacy: Teaching students to name and recognise emotions for social success

Publisher: Dotdash

Visit website

Website

Categories of play from the social skills toolbox

Publisher: Do2Learn

Visit website

Website

4 types of social cues

Publisher: Understood

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Support and strengthen peer relationships”:

Return to the guide “Supporting positive peer relationships”

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