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Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary 6-Book Set
Ages: 6-10   Grades: 1-5         

This best-selling series systematically targets the critical aspects of social language development to help your students with autism spectrum disorders and  language/learning disabilities fit in socially.   

Outcomes

  • Develop age-appropriate social language and interaction skills
  • Improve self-esteem and learn to make friends
  • Interact successfully in the classroom
  • Understand peers' perspectives
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CD*
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*The CD contains the complete book.  All pages are printable.
** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

The activities teach explicit aspects of social skills in everyday contexts with these learning strategies: 

  • direct instruction
  • modeling
  • observation
  • discussion
  • role-playing
  • other guided practice

The activity pages are filled with graphic organizers and interesting photos and art.  The lessons give students specific, clear directions that help them navigate their often confusing social world.  The lessons can be presented to individual students or small groups of students.  A pretest/posttest and skills checklist is included in each book.

Each book targets a specific social language skill.  The books may be purchased as a 6-book set or individually.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Conversations
Learn the essentials of good conversation such as how to begin and end a conversation, reciprocate in conversations, choose interesting topics, avoid interrupting, and more.

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Emotions
Recognize and understand emotions, express emotions appropriately, learn the importance of controlling emotions, and think about how actions affect others' emotions.

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Making Friends
Understand and use the fundamental skills in making and keeping friends such as recognizing friendly faces and friendly actions, making polite requests, group etiquette, giving compliments, making apologies, and more.

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Making Social Inferences
Learn what an inference is and how to make logical inferences.  Practice inferring typical social responses and emotions from pictured situations.  Understand cause and effect and recognize indirect requests in social situations. 

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Nonverbal Language
Interpret posture, hand gestures, and facial expression.  Use appropriate listening behaviors, maintain appropriate distances, and control distracting movements.

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary Predicting Consequences
Make good social decisions and problem-solve effectively by anticipating consequences and weighing the pros and cons of multiple consequences. 

 

Copyright © 2009

Components
6-Book Set: each book 40 pages, pretest/posttest, skills checklists, answer key
  • Children with language difficulties, particularly those with pragmatic impairments, need specific teaching to help social understanding (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Research has established the reciprocal relationship between language skill and social acceptability among peers (Gallagher, 1993).
  • The abilities to adjust messages to listeners' needs, initiate conversation successfully, ask appropriate questions, contribute well to ongoing conversations, communicate intentions clearly, address everyone when joining a group, and make more positive than negative comments are related to peer acceptance and sociometric status (Putallaz & Gottman, 1981; Rubin, LeMare, & Lollis, 1990; Gallagher, 1993).
  • Conversation partners require skills in both verbal and nonverbal interactive behaviors (Sillars, 1991).
  • Social skills intervention can improve children's social cognitive skills (Timler, Olswang, & Coggins, 2005).
  • Targeted language intervention with at-risk students may result in more cautionary, socially acceptable behaviors (Moore-Brown, Sanger, Montgomery, & Nishida, 2002).
  • Only 7% of the information we communicate to others depends upon the words we say; 93% depends on nonverbal communication (Mehrabian, 1971).
  • Students with language disorders often perform much like younger, typically-developing students on measures of pragmatic development (Lapadat, 1991).
  • Social and emotional development lay the foundation for later success in school, work, and life.  Addressing students' social and emotional needs also increases their capacity to learn (Franklin, 2008).
  • Language facility is a key component of social competence (Gallagher, 1991; Guralnick, 1992).

Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.

References

Franklin, J. (2008, January 29). Social and emotional learning: Educating the whole child. Southern Illinoisan. Retrieved February 7, 2008, from http://www.thesouthern.com/articles/208/01/28/lifestyles/mind_and_body/23106916.txt 

Gallagher, T. (1991). Language and social skills: Implications for clinical assessment and intervention with school-age children. In T. Gallagher (Ed.), Pragmatics of language: Clinical practice issues. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group.

Gallagher, T. (1993). Language skill and the development of social competence in school-age children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 24, 199-205.

Guralnick, M. (1992). A hierarchical model for understanding children's peer-related social competence. In S. Odom, S. McConnell, & M. McEvoy (Eds.), Social competence of young children with disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Lapadat, J.D. (1991). Pragmatic language skills of students with language and/or learning disabilities: A quantitative synthesis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 24, 147-158.

Mehrabian, A. (1971). Silent messages. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Moore-Brown, B., Sanger, D., Montgomery, J., & Nishida, B. (2002, April 30). Communication and violence: New roles for speech-language pathologists. The ASHA Leader, 7, 4-14.

Putallaz, M., & Gottman, J. (1981). An interactional model of children's entry into peer groups. Child Development, 52, 989-994.

Rubin, K., LeMare, L., & Lollis, S. (1990). Social withdrawal in childhood: Developmental pathways to peer rejection. In S. Asher & J. Coie (Eds.), Peer rejection in childhood. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Sillars, A.L. (1991). Behavior observation. In B.M. Montgomery & S. Duck (Eds.), Studying interpersonal interaction. New York: Guilford Press.

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

Timler, G., Olswang, L., & Coggins, T. (2005). "Do I know what I need to do?" Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 36, 73-85.

Author(s)

Carolyn LoGiudice, Paul F. Johnson

Biography

Carolyn LoGiudice, M.A., CCC-SLP, wrote and edited products and tests for LinguiSystems for 25 years, incorporating her previous experience as an SLP in school and clinic settings.  She is now retired and savoring time with her family, friends, and hobbies.

Paul F. Johnson, B.A., is a writer and editor at LinguiSystems.  He has a special interest in developing thinking and communication skills in students of all ages.  He also enjoys music, cooking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Carolyn and Paul have collaborated to develop several publications, including Story Comprehension To Go, No-Glamour Sequencing Cards, and Spotlight on Reading & Listening Comprehension.

Introduction

Age-appropriate social skills are essential for students to get along well with their peers and to foster strong self-esteem.  Social skills are rarely taught directly as a school subject, and most students gradually master social skills without formal instruction.  Those who fail to infer expectations and "rules" from personal interactions with others are at risk for being criticized by their peers or, worse, ignored.  Students on the autism spectrum are particularly at risk for poor social skills due to the nature of the disorder; many students with language and/or learning disabilities are also at risk.

The activities in Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary highlight specific aspects of social skills and include strategies of direct instruction, modeling, observation, discussion, role-playing, and other guided practice in contexts of everyday interaction.  These activities can be presented to individual students or small groups of students.  Small groups are preferred because they expose students to their peers' perspectives and offer a safe setting for practicing social skills.

For an overview of a student's social skills functioning, administer the Social Language Development Test Elementary (Bowers, Huisingh, & LoGiudice, 2008).  Use the pretest/posttest to check the student's awareness and functioning in the appropriate area addressed by one of the six books in Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary:

  • Conversations
  • Emotion 
  • Making Friends
  • Making Social Inferences
  • Nonverbal Language                                              
  • Predicting Consequences

We hope you and your students enjoy Spotlight on Social Skills Elementary!

Carolyn and Paul