I can never have enough social skill activities for my therapy! How about you? I love working with students on the autism spectrum particularly with students who have Asperger’s. They touch my heart, make me laugh and I can be blatantly honest with how their behavior is affecting others. I usually have to mind my p’s and q’s in most social arenas, so it’s nice to be able to gently tell someone “You got to stop doing that.” Lol.
Michelle Winner Garcia. She has amazing functional activities, social thinking curriculum, dynamic assessment and much more. You can check out her website HERE.
If you are newly building your professional skills in the area of social-pragmatics I would recommend purchasing her book Thinking of YOU, Thinking of ME Second Edition. In her book she includes her perspective taking model, 4 steps to communication, IEP goals, dynamic assessment tools and social behavior mapping tools. This book provides the framework for how to dynamically assess social pragmatics, write IEP goals and teach social skills. You can buy her book on her website. Here is the link.
I use a lot of her vocabulary terms in my social skills groups. Her terms help me address a behavior in the moment even if I am not directly teaching that particular skill. Furthermore, I push into an SDC classroom each week to do a social skills lesson. The teacher uses the terms “expected behavior” and “unexpected behavior” as well as “good thought” and “not so good” thought all throughout the day. We have seen a tremendous growth in her students and they are generalizing the social skills much more effectively. I made some visual posters with these words to bring into the classroom as visual reminders. I have a copy of those posters HERE. A colleague sent me an article written by Michelle regarding why it is beneficial to use “expected vs. unexpected” terminology in the classroom setting. This is a great article to share with your special ed. team and general ed. teachers to help get buy-in for using the social thinking terminology. Check it out HERE.
Many of you loved my holiday and winter themed social skills pack, so I made a generic pack to target perspective taking, conversation skills, expected and unexpected behaviors, and making impressions. My first activity works on predicting what other people are thinking. Included is a visual poster for a teacher, farmer, little girl, and little boy as well as 12 scenario cards for each poster. I also included a blank visual poster, so that you can paste your own picture in the poster and have the students think about you could be thinking.
There are a lot of skills needed to complete a successful social interaction. These next two activities work on identifying the missing skills from the social situation and figuring out what kind of impression the person is making on others. They can also brainstorm what the person could do to change the impression. Each activity has 24 stimulus cards.
I made an activity to work on identifying expected vs. unexpected behaviors. There is a sorting mat and 24 stimulus cards. I also created a visual reminder card for students to put in front of them on the table. These cards are designed for the therapist to take data during the therapy session on a student’s behavior. This also serves as a visual reminder to be expected in the group. Every time the student is being expected, you can put a check, plus, line, etc. in one of the expected behavior slots. Every time the student is being unexpected, you can put a check, plus, line, etc. in one of the unexpected behavior slots. This way you don’t have to stop therapy to correct the student and you are still giving them feedback about their behavior.
Last up is my birthday gift giving perspective taking activity and how to have a conversation with a friend. Both have social stories as well as brainstorming worksheets. There are visual posters to explain key terms needed for the skill such as “questions” and “comments”.
You can grab this whole pack at TPT store. Let me know what resources you love using to target social skills! I would love to hear about what you are doing on your campuses.