Using Evidenced Based Strategies to Teach Social Skills

Social skills are an integral component of any curriculum when teaching secondary students with autism.  Just like teaching within all curriculum areas, it is important that we use evidence-based strategies when teaching social skills. Social skill teaching should be embedded within natural routines for the teaching to be most effective.  However, many students require pre-teaching, outside the context of the routine, for initial skill acquisition. Discrete Trial Training is one way we can provide pre-teaching.   

Learning social rules can be challenging.  But it can also be a strength for many students with autism. One way to support students in learning these complex social rules is to break the rules down into small components and teach the student, through pictures, what it looks like to follow the rule. Once the student has been introduced to the rule in a pre-teaching setting then generalization can occur during role playing, simulations and daily routines. Below is an example of a lesson plan from the Links Curriculum: Understanding Social Rules.

Click the image below to download the full lesson plan from Links. 

Bowling Lesson

This lesson teaches students to identify a variety of social rules. Click the image above to download the full lesson plan from Links. 


Click the photo cards below to download the photo cards for Understanding Social Rules.

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