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Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons Behavior
Ages: 3-8   Grades: PreK-3

These one page, rebus-supported lessons help children understand and use appropriate behavior at home and at school.  


  • Learn what to do or say in social situations
  • Reduce specific behavioral/social problems
  • Successfully integrate into regular classrooms
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** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

Many primary children with autism need help with typical behavior issues such as dumping toys and pulling someone's hair.  This book has 40 ready-to-use lessons (stories).  The concise format makes it easy to keep a copy of the lesson where the behavior occurs.  Each sentence in the story is supported by one or more pictures.  Customize the lessons by adding student-specific information, editing the text, and using a photograph in place of the generic picture in the book.  There are instructional and behavioral lessons.  The instructional lessons teach young children what they need to do or say in social situations.  The behavioral lessons target specific social behaviors that need to be stopped.  The lessons are grouped by these topics:

  • School Behavior—Tearing, Mouth Noises, Counting, and more
  • Home Behavior—Drawing on the Wall, Running Away (Darting), Shoelaces, and more
  • Hurting Self/Others—Scratching, Pulling Hair, Head Butting, and more

Unlike lessons in other Autism & PDD Social Skills Lessons books, these behavior lessons are not for all of your students.  Use the lessons only if a problem exists.  The lessons in this book should be used after the child has calmed down, not while a dangerous behavior is occurring.

Extra helps include:

  • behavior tracking forms and examples
  • behavior analysis forms and examples
  • progress recording forms and examples
  • tracking forms for lessons
  • teaching suggestions

You may purchase Behavior individually or as a 5-book set

The 5-book set consists of:

Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons Behavior

Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons Community

Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons Getting Along

Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons Home

Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons School


Copyright © 1999

62 pages, progress record, tracking forms

These social skills lessons help students behave appropriately by using pictures.  My students use these lessons to stay on task and to use appropriate behavior.  This is a large portion of most of their IEP Goals (Behavior).  Great product.  Thank you.

Ann Marie Burgess, Teacher
Ft Lauderdale, FL


I made a social story book for my student with high functioning autism with materials from the Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons.  She's now transitioning much better between activities and she handles events like fire drills and assemblies with fewer meltdowns.

Molly Schock, SLP
Kailua-Kona, HI


Until I was introduced to LinguiSystems, I spent hundreds of hours making my own picture stories with accompanying questions, sequence boards and games!  I am hooked on the LinguiSystems' programs that I have used with my students with autism.  They have clear, age-appropriate rebuses with wonderful lessons that target social skills, basic routines, concept development and a great approach for teaching comprehension.  I want to buy it all. I've become "evangelical" about the products and have spread the word to my students' parents, behavior therapists, speech and occupational therapists, and my fellow teachers.


I have been in the field of special education for over 25 years in positions from teacher to principal and this is the most excited I've been about an entire line of materials.  Each of my LinguiSystems purchases have provided easy-to-read, helpful ideas and materials ready to be used without confusion or the need to weed out inapplicable parts.  I could go on and on . . . all the products are simply incredible.

Laura Gross, Teacher
Woodland Hills, CA



  • Children with autism need approaches that focus on social functioning.  These approaches should be introduced as ongoing intervention strategies from early years to adulthood (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) learn more readily through the visual modality (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Visual supports enhance language comprehension for individuals on the autism spectrum, bridging communication between the individuals and the social expectations of the world around them (Hodgdon, 1995).
  • Stories about specific social situations help students with ASD understand and respond to similar social situations appropriately (Kuoch & Mirenda, 2003).

Autism & PDD Primary Social Skills Lessons Behavior incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Hodgdon, L. (1995). Visual strategies for improving communication. Troy, MI: QuirkRoberts Publishing.

Kuoch, H., & Mirenda, P. (2003). Social story interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 18, 219-227.

Taylor-Goh, (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.


Pam Britton Reese, Nena C. Challenner


Pam Britton Reese, M.A., CCC-SLP, owns a private practice, CommunicAid Plus, where she provides speech and language services to children and adults.  She is also an educational consultant to public and private schools.  Pam has over 9 years experience in the schools as a speech-language pathologist and teacher of the hearing-impaired.  She has worked with young children with autism and PDD since 1995.  Autism & PDD Social Skills Lessons is her first publication with LinguiSystems.

Nena C. Challenner, B.S., is a PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities) instructor and inclusion specialist.  She has been a teacher for over 15 years and has taught preschool through second grade.  She has worked with children with autism and PDD since 1995.  Autism & PDD Social Skills Lessons is her first publication with LinguiSystems.


A few years ago, we were working together to facilitate the inclusion of a five-year-old boy with autism into a kindergarten/first-grade classroom.  Communication with the child was a problem.  Although the classroom had been structured to aid his inclusion, inappropriate behaviors repeatedly set him back both academically and socially.  Some of his typical behaviors were climbing on desktops, darting, squirting glue on tables, dumping toys, and pulling on electrical cords.

We learned of Carol Gray's success with stories describing social situations to teach children with autism.  The format of Gray's stories in The New Social Story Book (1994) seemed perfect for our student.  However, due to the child's young age, we soon found that those stories were too long.  Shorter sentences and stories plus the addition of pictures were critical to his comprehension.  So we began writing one-page lessons with each sentence supported by one or more pictures.  Our lessons targeted typical needs of preschool and early primary students.

Our lessons were so successful that we began using them with other children with autism and PDD.  As parents began to see how the lessons worked at school, they requested lessons concerning behaviors at home and in the community.  In addition, the lessons were used successfully with children with other disabilities and with typically-developing children.  Autism & PDD Social Skills Lessons is the culmination of the work we did with teachers and families over the last few years.


About the Books
The lessons are grouped into five separate books:

  • School
  • Home
  • Community
  • Getting Along
  • Behavior

In each book, we have included two types of lessons: instructional and behavioral.  The instructional lessons are intended to teach young children what they need to do or say in social situations that are often overwhelming to children with autism (e.g., Receiving a Compliment, Getting Along book).  The instructional lessons can be used as part of a social skills curriculum with small groups of children or individuals.  The behavioral lessons target specific social problems that need to be stopped.  They are best used with an individual child (e.g., Running Away (Darting), Behavior book).

The lessons are not intended to be used in the order presented, but chosen according to the needs of a particular child.

Behavior lessons are not for everyone.  The lessons in this book should only be used if the problem exists.  Children with autism will sometimes act out aggressively toward self and others when frustrated or angry because they are unable to communicate how they feel.  Immediate intervention by a teacher, parent, or caregiver is necessary when safety is the issue.  The lessons in this book should be used after the child has calmed down, NOT while a dangerous behavior is occurring.


Make the Lessons Fit the Child
No two children are the same!  Although the lessons are ready for use as they appear in the books, it will undoubtedly be necessary to make changes in some lessons to fit the child.  For example, some children may not understand that the generic child used in the lessons refers to them.  For these children, attach a photograph of the child in the upper right-hand corner of the lesson.  As you read the story, point to the photograph and say the child's name in place of any pronouns.  Continue to use the lesson as written. I n time, some children may learn to accept the use of the generic child.

Editing may also be needed if the chosen lesson does not exactly match what the child is doing.  For example, in the Squirting Glue lesson (Behavior book), we show the child squirting glue on tables.  If the child is squirting glue on the floor or on other children, you will need to change the lesson.  Cross out the text and rewrite the sentence following the format of the original sentence.

Blank lines have been inserted in the text in some lessons to help you individualize them for each child.  There are empty spaces above the lines for additional pictures if needed.  The picture index in the back of each book contains pictures that may be copied and substituted.  If you can't find the picture you need in the index, feel free to substitute or add photographs, your own line drawings, copies of pictures from another lesson in one of the other books, Boardmaker Software (1995), or other computer-generated clip art.


Using the Lessons
Identify the skill to be taught.  No child will need every lesson.  Search for the source of the problem.  Is it sensory?  Is it a communication breakdown?  Is the child sick?  Some problems can be solved by ignoring the behavior or changing something in the environment.  Limit the number of lessons presented at one time.  Start with one or two.  Wait until they are learned before introducing more.

Choose the appropriate lesson and make two copies.  Change the story as needed.  Place one copy of the lesson in a notebook for the child.  As skills are presented and learned, the notebook can be used for reviewing lessons with the child and for sharing the lessons with other teachers, parents, and caregivers.  The second copy is to be used for direct instruction with the child as follows: 

  1.  Identify the time and place the social situation occurs.  The Tracking Multiple Behaviors form and/or the Initial Behavior Analysis form will help you.
  2. When teaching a new skill, the social lesson should immediately precede the targeted situation.  For example, if the child is having a problem completing seatwork, read I Finish My Work (School book) just before you hand out the work.
  3. Present the lesson.  Sit with the child one-on-one in a quiet area and read the lesson aloud.  Point to the pictures for emphasis.  Read the lesson again.
  4. Allow the child to keep the lesson.  This allows the child to review the lesson repeatedly as the new skill is learned.  Don't worry if this copy is damaged or discarded by the child since you have another copy in the child's notebook.

Document the lesson(s) taught using the Record of Progress and/or the tracking forms.  These records can serve as documentation for IEP objectives and behavioral intervention.


Special Considerations
Pronouns can be difficult for some children with autism.  We have used "I" extensively throughout the books as a way to help teach the pronoun.  If pronoun use prevents comprehension of the lesson, substitute the child's name in the text and/or use the child's photograph in place of the "I" symbol.

Be sure to use words that the child is familiar with (e.g., gym vs. P.E.; jungle gym vs. monkey bars).

The lesson and pictures on one page may be overwhelming for some children.  You can use a blank sheet of paper to mask the rest of the lesson as you read each line.  The lessons can also be used to make a small book.  Cut apart the sentences and accompanying pictures.  Place each sentence/pictures in the center of a separate sheet of paper.  Staple the pages together to make a book.

These lessons can easily be adapted to the child's language and comprehension level.  If necessary, delete words to shorten sentences.  Some children may also need fewer pictures per sentence.  We have even used lessons with no text for behavior (e.g., bite/time-out) and instruction (e.g., work/computer).

These lessons do not offer a solution to the myriad of challenges presented by young children with autism and PDD.  They have, however, proved to be a useful tool for many families, teachers, and speech-language pathologists to teach children with autism and PDD to understand the social world in which they live.  We hope that you will find these social skills lessons as effective as we have.

Pam and Nena