*Encouragement is the best medicine to give someone. If I were to pick any gift to have in helping others, that would be the one*

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Quest for Social Skills Review

Susan and JoEllen have coauthored a social skills curriculum called:

The book is available from the publisher Future Horizons, Inc. 
at www.FHautism.com. Susan and JoEllen currently facilitate 
social skills groups at Brownell and Parcells Middle 
School in Grosse Pointe.  333 pages. $24.95.

Ready-to-use lessons with games, role-play, activities, and more!  The book also includes a CD containing Adobe PDF files of printable worksheets, letters, forms, and more.

Recently I reflected on Chaz's earlier days where our heads were spinning and we couldn't figure out why some things were just not obvious to him.  Behavior and social skills that came so natural to me.  I even got tired of hearing myself say "Why would you do that, Chaz?"  He gave me this look that said "Why not?"  Once Chaz was diagnosed with Aspergers, it clicked.  Oh.  Social skills may not come natural to Chaz but I can teach him.  Where do I start?

That's where A Quest for Social Skills is very helpful.  How nice would it have been to have something just literally in front of me giving instructions on teaching these skills?  5 years later, I still have to work with Chaz on these skills.  Yes, he's come a long way but new situations (as he matures) bring new challenges.  

How A Quest for Social Skills can help your child or student
QUEST (Questioning, Understanding, and Exploring Social Skills and Pragmatic Language Together) is a social skills program created to help middle school students with ASD who struggle with pragmatic language and social skills. 

Not only do you get Sample correspondence, reports, and forms but these helpful 6 units titled:

    1. School Survival Basics 
Goal: To learn and practice basic skills needed to function successfully in school

    2. Understanding and Managing Emotion
Goal: To develop and improve emotional identification and management skills 

    3. Communication Skills
Goal: To learn, practice, and improve reciprocal communication skills

    4. Making Friends and Interacting with Peers
Goal: To improve peer interaction skills

    5. Personal Safety
Goal: To increase student awareness of personal safety, and practice skills needed for safety at home and in the community

    6. Vocational Readiness
Goal: To develop and improve employability skills


One of my favorite page is something I've always wanted for my son.  Nonverbal Communication Example cards.  Flashcards you can print, cut out and laminate that shows an emotion on a child's face.  For example: 

Q:  Why do some children benefit from formal social skills instruction?

A:  Most people learn how to navigate their social world by modeling others, making mistakes and being corrected.  Parents are usually the first and most important social skills teachers.  While some children may not have effective social skills models, others lack the ability to interpret, learn and generalize social skills without formal instruction.  Children with autism, Asperger's Syndrome, cognitive deficits, mood or attachment disorders, or even AD/HD may have social skills weaknesses.  

Meet the Authors
JoEllen Cumpata is currently a school-based speech language pathologist. She was formerly a clinical supervisor at Michigan State University, teaching classes related to providing school-based speech and language services. JoEllen also served as a speech language pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Boston, working with adults and children. JoEllen has a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and she resides with her husband and two daughters.

Susan Fell is a school social worker specializing in working with students with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and in parenting education. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University, and her School Social Work Certification from Wayne State in Detroit, Michigan. Susan is married and lives with her husband, and occasionally with her two college-age children, who are both currently studying to become educators. 

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