Help adolescents be effective, appropriate communicators in a wide variety of situations with these lessons in Basic Communication, Conversation Skills, Emotions and Self-Esteem, Peer Relationships, and Working with Others.
- Interpret nonverbal cues and express emotions appropriately
- Improve peer interactions
- Communicate effectively in a variety of situations
- Develop critical thinking, self-awareness, personal responsibility and self-advocacy
Students learn to use specific social behaviors through direct instruction, role-playing, observation, and discussion. The practical training helps them:
- pick up subtle, nonverbal cues from others
- recognizing and express emotions appropriately
- recognize others' perspectives
- maintain self-control
- interpret messages quickly enough to respond appropriately in conversation
- decrease impulsivity and learn not to interrupt
- use past experiences in order to decide how to deal with current situations
- understand and read others' intentions
- relinquish control in groups
- initiate, maintain, and end conversations well
- predict social consequences of actions or comments
- code switch to match communication style to the situation
- resist peer pressure
- support others
- handle conflicts and disagreements while maintaining friendships
The activities are organized into five units—Basic Communication Skills, Conversation Skills, Emotions and Self-Esteem, Peer Relationships, and Working With Others. Each unit includes:
- goals & objectives
- indications a student needs training in the target skill
- student handout to introduce the target skill
- activity guidelines
- vocabulary required for comprehension and expression of the target skills
- student activity sheets (12 to 22 in each unit) for practice of the target skills, discussion, role-playing, and critiques
Extra helps include:
- Assessment checklists for teachers, parents, and students
- Conversation evaluation forms
- Phone conversation evaluation form
Copyright © 1998
- For students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), explicit instructions to attend to facial expression and tone of voice can elicit increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, part of the key network for understanding others' intentions (Wang, Lee, Sigman, & Dapretto, 2007).
- Only 7% of the information we communicate to others depends upon the words we say; 93% depends on nonverbal communication (Mehrabian, 1971).
- In selecting remediation targets within social communication among adolescents, clinicians should consider the relative importance of various communication skills in terms of enhancing peer communication. Communication skills involving social perspective taking (including nonverbal language) that focus on another person are more valued by adolescents than skills that focus on the speaker's thoughts or linguistics (Henry, Reed, & McAllister, 1995).
That's Life! Social Language incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Henry, F.M., Reed, V.A., & McAllister, L.L. (1995). Adolescents' perceptions of the relative importance of selected communication skills in their positive peer relationships. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 26, 263-272.
Mehrabian, A. (1971). Silent messages. Belmont, CA: Wadworth.
Wang, A.T., Lee, S.S., Sigman, M., & Dapretto, M. (2007). Reading affect in the face and voice: Neural correlates of interpreting communicative intent in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 698-708.