GAPBS Conference Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support Thursday, December 5, 2013 2:00 – 2:50 p.m. Teaching the REAL Social Skills
Teaching the REAL Social Skills So your students can be successful in school!
Convincing you to listen to me - Amy C. Zaring Autism/Behavior Intervention Specialist Fayette County Schools firstname.lastname@example.org 678-796-5691
Goals of Presentation • Be AWARE of all the social skills involved in school • Be AWARE that behavior may indicate a social skill deficit • ACCEPT that social skills must be taught just like any other skill. • Take away five (5) ideas that you will think about/use/apply to make you a better teacher – “a better person” would be a stretch!
When do we perceive that people have good “social skills”? When they share space effectively; often non-verbally.
So, what is it? Social Skills Social Pragmatic Skills Social Cognition Self-Management/Self Regulation Social Thinking and Related Skills
Domains of Development Cognitive Attainment and Educational Achievement Health and Safety Social and Emotional Development Self-Sufficiency
Social and Emotional Development Characteristics of Well Adjusted Children Physical Intellectual Psychological Social Personal and Social Assets
Social and Emotional Development 5 Qualities Needed for Success Patience Self-Reliance Responsibility Relationships Self-Control
Social Emphases • Enhancing Social Awareness • Resisting Provocation • Avoiding Provoking Others • Reading and Interpreting Social Cues • Experiencing Positive Peer Relations • Demonstrating Empathy
Emotional Emphases • Acquiring Emotional Literacy • Identifying and Labeling Feelings • Expressing Feelings • Assessing Intensity of Feelings • Managing Feelings • Tolerating Frustration
Cognitive Emphases Reorienting Self-talk Exercising Self-control Manifesting Impulse Control Engaging in Productive Problem Solving Seeking Alternative Solutions to Interpersonal Problems Delaying Gratification
Social and Emotional Development External Assets Support Empowerment Boundaries and Expectations Constructive Use of Time Commitment to Learning Positive Values Social Competencies Positive Identity
Acknowledgements Dr. Kristin Moore Camille Smith Jacquelynne Eccles Dr. Marc Mannes
Lessons will be learned. . . . How do typical kids learn social skills? How do kids with social cognition deficits learn? Missed lessons – deficits Wrong lessons – maladaptive behavior Then they are perceived as “bad” kids. WE HAVE TO TEACH THE SKILLS ! ! !
A lack of social skills leads to difficulties in school, peer rejection, academic failures, and depression!!!
What are the goals of social skills instruction? increase functional social skills to be used in a variety of settings provide a safe environment to practice newly learned skills understand a variety of feelings communicate feelings develop ways to control feelings improve problem solving – predicting, understanding, reading social situations
Other goals - • develop the ability to modulate behavior and emotional responses • learn social rules • develop an understanding of main idea in language and social situations and responding in an organized way with a focus on the main idea • reduce perseverations and preoccupations • develop insight • appropriately seek help
What social skills are required to participate in a classroom setting? • Awareness of the thoughts of others. • Awareness of the hidden rules of the classroom. • Ability to stay focused on the topic. • Ability to manage self when bored so not to distract others. • Awareness of when is a good time to talk.
Social Skills in the Middle and High School General Education Setting • Lessons on working in groups • Lessons on participating in discussions • Lessons on interacting with teachers • Skill of the week – use a “cue” that fits the subject area • Citizenship training • Expand on County/School word of week or thought for the day • Individual conferences
Teach Abstract/Inferential • Clearly teach there are 2 forms of language: Literal and figurative • Teach kids HOW TO OBSERVE • Teach kids to make “educated guesses” • Teach kids to make connections with what they see and what they hear • Emotions and words together • Keeping up in the classroom
Social skills instruction should include - giving students the rationale – convincing them!!!! stress management self-esteem self-confidence listening skills coping with bullying, teasing, criticism recreational/leisure skills understanding family dynamics protecting ourselves advocating and seeking help developing positive character traits
But here is the question - How can we tackle some of those REAL social skills in the special education and general education settings – and across a school?
Ideas on where to begin in schools: • Recognize the difference between how we assess students academically and deficits in social cognition. Measuring one domain may not reveal the other! • Realize that work to increase social awareness will also help within the classroom • Realize that smart kids can have significant social cognitive disabilities. • TEACH social skills!
Set behavioral standards, and help the student learn WHY and HOW his behavior falls within or outside of those standards. • Appreciate that kids with social cognitive deficits are bullied and teased by socially savvy students more than any adult can imagine. Establish a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for bullies in schools! DON’T tell kids that they just need to put up with it since all kids are teased! Develop a social thinking group on every campus to help teach students how to relate to others and how to cope with negative social relationships. • Appreciate that teaching ALL students about perspective taking is VALUABLE, even if not MEASUREABLE!
Creating a Positive School Climate - A setting where people appreciate individuality and contributions - All students know they are valued and respected members of the school community
Positive School Climate • Learn and use student’s names and know something about each one. • Use homeroom time to build a sense of community. Provide opportunities for conversation among students. • Provide unstructured time when students can practice social skills with peers and receive feedback.
Positive School Climate • Encourage journal writing to improve self-awareness. • Provide extracurricular activities that don’t require tryouts or auditions. Provide accommodations as needed. • Provide opportunities for the students to give feedback about their daily experience at school; take that input seriously.
Positive School Climate • Make a point of connecting informally with individual students having difficulties; the student will then feel notices and cared for; adult will also be more aware if the student needs a more formal intervention
Embedding Social Skills Instruction in Inclusive Settings
Embedding - Assessment • Identify skill vs performance deficits Key!!!! Is it motivation? Is it non-compliance? Is it stress? Or, are these things caused by a skills deficit?
Embedding - Assessment • Monitor behavior – take data! • Select and prioritize replacement skills. This one is harder than you think! • Conduct reinforcement surveys. • Make a plan; meet with the student(s).
Embedding - Instruction • Engage in daily morning meeting activities that practice skills. • Take advantage of teachable moments. • Connect social behaviors to academic skills. • waiting; turn-taking; listening to others; etc.
Embedding - Instruction • Teach social skills the same way you teach academics. • Teach social skills in context. • Role play! • Provide examples and non-examples.
Embedding - Maintenance • Use self-monitoring. • Provide reinforcements. • Provide prompts and cues. • Provide feedback.
Embedding - Generalization • Involve other members of the school faculty. • Involve parents!
The Hidden Curriculum Unstated Rules in Social Situations
We are surrounded on a daily basis by such unstated rules or customs that make the world a confusing place. This is known as the hidden curriculum. • The hidden curriculum contains items that impact social interactions, school performance, and sometimes safety.
The Hidden Curriculum: Reading the Hidden Curriculum of Body Language Differs Across Age Differs Across Gender Differs Depending on Who You Are With Cultures Each Have Their Own Hidden Curriculum
Where is the Impact? • School • Home • Community • Workplace • Legal System
Examples of areas of “hidden curriculum” - • Bathroom Rules • Clothing • Friendships in the Classroom • School Locker Room • School Dances • Bullying and Tattling • Telling Jokes
The “4” Greatest Things to Know Make them a part of what you naturally do in your classroom every day! Live Out Loud Do-Overs TEACH the Routines, Rules, and Procedures Check-Ins
Live Out Loud As a teacher, model your thought process OUT LOUD whenever possible: “I am feeling really stressed right now…..” “I have this problem…..” “Let me think what I need to do this….” “We are going to the media center, but….”
Share the agenda/plans – state the obvious – “live out loud” • Simplify the language – “reading between the lines” – understanding abstract concepts like sarcasm – interpreting facial expressions or body language - Avoid: “cute” names, idioms, double meanings, teasing
“Do-Overs” • Would you like to do that over? • Why don’t you try that again? • Would you like to make a different choice?
TEACH • TEACH students what you want them to do! (We too often focus on what we don’t want them to do!) • Learning the “rules” of a situation and/or setting is a social skill – and learning how to function successfully in that teacher’s classroom is a part of social skills!
Rules Make the rules clear Post the rules Remind the student of the rule(s) Give a personal copy when necessary Highlight the most significant rules
Procedures/Routines Teach the procedures Role-play the procedures Give reminders about the procedures Provide student with a checklist of routines – morning routine, packing up routine, getting ready for lunch routine, at-the-locker routine
Check-ins!!! • Determine what “plan” or language will be used – a number or color scale – or student decided! • Ask “Where are you?” • Student should respond. • Teacher’s response based on student!