Friday, April 9, 2010

TOPIC 11: Social Skills Interventions for groups

Social Skills Interventions designed for groups of students.
There are some main themes that should be apparent in good social skills intervention groups:
1.  They should be based on the 3 Tier model - part of the schools' design for PBS
2.  Use the same language as school - wide expectations
3.  ALL students receive the social skills training
4.  Small groups for interventions

Each lesson should have the following components:
-rules for when to use the skill
-teach the rule (TELL)
–demonstrate the skill (SHOW)
–students practice the skill (PRACTICE)
–review and test the skill (PRACTICE)
–assign homework (PRACTICE)

Here are a few programs widely available

Second Step Program
This is the program used in District 500 by most of the elementary schools.  I have used this program and I do have to say it is very easy to use but does not lend itself well to the busy curriculum that is evident in an urban school.  The program is very useful in teaching students ways to defuse their own anger and to use their words when other students are 'invading' their space.  It teaches the students it is okay to show feelings and how to read other peoples feelings.  Although these are great skills to teach in kindergarten or first grade, the program curriculum for third grade is very similar to that of the kindergarten level.  This program is scripted and tells the teacher what to do and even gives ideas for extended use within the curriculum.  Unfortunately most teachers feel that this curriculum is an extra burden that they must endure. 
All in all this is a good program for a dedicated staff!

The multi-tier interventions
This intervention sight was discussed earlier in this blog.  For more information on teaching social skills to small groups with a  focus on appropriate behavior this is another program that is available.
This type of model would contain data, practice and the system  - make sure each of the components are in place to have a reliable intervention group.
Data would refer to how the group was decided upon
Practice would refer to strategies involved in the program or lesson
System would refer to the process which the program/lesson was presented

Social Stories
Students who have autism or other processing problems often do well with social stories.  "Social stories provide students with accurate information about those situations that he may find difficult or confusing. The situation is described in detail and focus is given to a few key points: the important social cues, the events and reactions the individual might expect to occur in the situation, the actions and reactions that might be expected of him, and why. The goal of the story is to increase the individual’s understanding of, make him more comfortable in, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation in question." (

*Develop your own as a team
*Programs on classroom management
*Individualized based on FBA's

Lewis/Powers Social Skills power point

Teaching Children with Autism

Second Step Website

R. Freeman SPED 843:  Advanced Methods & Assessment:  Strategies for Students with Social and Emotional Needs March 31, 2010

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