LinguiSystems home
Social Language Training Adolescent
Ages: 12-18   Grades: 7-Adult

Help your teens with language impairment (LI), Asperger's Syndrome, and high-functioning autism learn to make and sustain friendships.  This program applies the research on all aspects of social language: verbal, nonverbal, paralinguistic, and metalinguistics.

Outcomes

  • Engage in positive peer interactions
  • Consider and respond to other people's perspectives
  • Problem solve constructively and implement good solutions
  • Justify solutions based on the effect on social relationships
  • Accurately interpret idioms and sarcasm
  • Understand specific aspects of nonverbal communication
Book
#31179
$47.00
Add to Cart
CD*
#32179
$47.00
Add to Cart
*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 teaching draws on teens' personal experiences to help them understand social contexts and social behavior.  Step-by-step instruction with loads of picture support and personal application develops specific skills in perspective-taking, making inferences, interpersonal negotiation, expressing empathy, and more.  The book is a treatment companion to the Social Language Development Test Adolescent.

The units and skills addressed are:

  • Nonverbal Communication—Identify and interpret facial expressions, gestures, posture, proximity, and wordless vocalizations (hmm, ah-ha, duh, etc.) in isolation and then together.
  • Making Inferences—Learn to pay attention to relevant details; ignore irrelevant ones; and use context, body language, and other clues to make reasonable inferences about what is happening and why.
  • Multiple Interpretations—Think of more than one logical interpretation for a situation.  Develop flexibility in thinking and consider the logical possibilities.
  • Interpreting Perspectives—Understand the key factors in evaluating others' perspectives.  Recognize that people in the same situation can think different thoughts and have different opinions.
  • Solving Problems—Recognize the feelings of other people as a priority when solving social problems by thinking of solutions that preserve and/or create friendships.
  • Interpreting Idioms and Sarcasm—Learn to recognize the paralinguistic features of conversations that are replete with innuendo, sarcasm, and metaphors in order to react appropriately in social situations.
  • Social Interaction—Adolescents learn to pay attention to body language, facial expressions, vocal intonation, and the expressive language of their peers, acquaintances, family members, strangers, and authority figures.  They'll learn to recognize appropriate and inappropriate reactions to these people and what to say and do
  • Interpersonal Negotiation—Learn to compromise, acquiesce, problem solve, listen, seek mutual resolutions, and negotiate.

Copyright © 2010

Components
184 pages, answer key
  • Children with limited language skills experience a poor quality of social interactions (Cohen, Menna, Vallance, Barwick, Im, & Horodezky, 1998; Craig, 1993; Fujiki, Brinton, Robinson, & Watson, 1997; Hadley & Rice, 1991).  Such children have greater deficits in social cognitive processing than children with typically-developing language.  They have particular deficits in identifying the feelings of each participant in a conflict, identifying and evaluating strategies to overcome obstacles, and knowing when a conflict is resolved (Cohen et al., 1998). 
  • Middle school and high school students understand that friendship is self-reflective and reciprocal.  They regard friendship as an ongoing relationship and can reflect upon themselves from another person's perspective.  These students use persuasion as a conflict negotiation strategy and engage in peer discussions for purposes of self-exploration and self-disclosure.  Language skills are central to managing all of these aspects of peer relationships (Gallagher, 1993). 
  • High-functioning students with autism easily recognize simple emotions, but they have difficulty explaining the causes of simple and complex emotions.  Their understanding of socially complex emotions is incomplete; complex emotions are compounded with social understanding of cultural norms, conventions, and rules of behavior.  High-functioning students with autism also have difficulty reflecting on themselves in relation to others (e.g., embarrassment) (Bauminger, 2002). 
  • The social growth and acceptance of children with specific language impairment (SLI) may depend on intervention designed to help them express their own perspectives effectively and, at the same time, recognize the perspectives of others (Brinton, Fujiki, & McKee, 1998). 
  • Interventions should target understanding social contexts and role-taking abilities to develop others' perspectives on social behaviors (understanding perspectives of various children involved) (Raskind, 2005). 
  • Intervention can improve social skills among children with high-functioning autism within a relatively short amount of time.  It is possible to teach specific social skills to adolescents with ASD and increase their interaction with peers and adults (Burgess & Turkstra, 2006).  Training tasks should include interpreting verbal/nonverbal actions or intentions, understanding social reciprocity, and adjusting verbal/nonverbal behavior according to social cues (Crooke, Hendrix, & Rachman, 2007).  Visual supports successfully increase social communication and generalization to new activities in individuals with ASD (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2006).
  • Explicitly teaching and reinforcing inference-making leads to better outcomes in overall text comprehension, text engagement, and metacognitive thinking.  Students should cite the evidence they used to draw conclusions in order to make the implicit process of making inferences more explicit (McMackin & Lawrence, 2001).

The Social Language Training Adolescent incorporates these findings and is also based on expert professional practice.

References  

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2006). Guidelines for speech-language pathologists in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders across the life span. Available from www.asha.org/policy  

Bauminger, N. (2002). The facilitation of social-emotional understanding and social interaction in high-functioning children with autism: Intervention outcomes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32(4), 283-298.  

Brinton, B., Fujiki, M., & McKee, L. (1998). Negotiation skills of children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41, 927-940.  

Burgess, S., & Turkstra, L.S. (2006). Social skills intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: A review of the experimental evidence. EBP Briefs, 1(4), 1-21.  

Cohen, N.J., Menna, R., Vallance, D.D., Barwick, M.A., Im, N., & Horodezky, N.B. (1998). Language, social cognitive processing, and behavioral characteristics of psychiatrically disturbed children with previously identified and unsuspected language impairments. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 39, 853-864.  

Craig, H. (1993). Social skills of children with specific language impairment: Peer relationships. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 24, 206-215.  

Crooke, P.J., Hendrix, R.E., & Rachman, J.Y. (2007). Teaching social thinking to children with ASD: An effectiveness study. Presentation at the ASHA Convention, November.  

Fujiki, M., Brinton, B., Robinson, L.A., & Watson, V. (1997). The ability of children with specific language impairment to participate in a group decision task. Journal of Childhood Communication Development, 18, 1-10.  

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

Hadley, P.A., & Rice, M.L. (1991). Conversational responsiveness in speech and language-impaired preschoolers. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 34, 1308-1317.  

McMackin, M.C., & Lawrence, S. (2001). Investigating inferences: Constructing meaning from expository texts. Reading Horizons, 42, 117-137.  

Raskind, M. (2005). Research trends: Social information processing and emotional understanding in children with LD. Great Schools. Retrieved November 24, 2008, from www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2974  

Author(s)

Linda Bowers, Rosemary Huisingh, Carolyn LoGiudice

Biography

Linda Bowers, M.A., SLP, is a co-founder and co-owner of LinguiSystems.  She is a speech-language pathologist with wide experience serving language-disordered students of all ages.  Linda has a keen professional interest in the critical thinking and language abilities of children and adults.

Rosemary Huisingh, M.A., SLP, is also a co-founder and co-owner of LinguiSystems.  As a speech-language pathologist, she has successfully served the communication needs of school children for many years.  Rosemary is particularly interested in childhood language, vocabulary, and thinking skills.

Carolyn LoGiudice, M.A., CCC-SLP, worked at LinguiSystems for nearly 30 years coordinating product acquisitions and also developing and editing products.  Carolyn has broad experience as an SLP serving school-aged children and is especially interested in the pragmatics and thinking skills of children and adults.

Linda, Rosemary, and Carolyn are co-authors of the Social Language Development Test Adolescent as well as the following:

  • Social Language Development Test Elementary
  • TOPS 2 Adolescent (Test Of Problem Solving 2 Adolescent)
  • TOPS 3 Elementary (Test Of Problem Solving 3 Elementary)
  • The Listening Comprehension Test 2
  • The Listening Comprehension Test Adolescent
  • The WORD Test 2 Adolescent
  • The WORD Test 2 Elementary
  • Story Comprehension To Go ®
  • Spotlight on Reading & Listening Comprehension
  • No-Glamour®  Language & Reasoning
  • No-Glamour®  Language & Reasoning Cards
  • No-Glamour®  Language & Reasoning Interactive Software

Introduction

Unlike academic skills acquired via direct instruction in school, social skills develop as children observe and interact with others over time.  This personal experience as well as brain maturation are essential to develop effective social interaction skills.  Facility with language and nonverbal communication are also critical for getting along well with others.

Some children, for various reasons, are delayed or atypical in developing social skills.  Weak or immature social skills compared to peers can make children the butt of teasing or, worse, completely ignored by their peers.  We need to help such children "get the picture" of what's going on and teach them to get along better.  The trick is having a frame of reference for which skills to teach and in what order.

We developed and standardized the Social Language Development Test Adolescent (Bowers, Huisingh, & LoGiudice, 2010) to examine the developmental progression of specific social language skills among students aged 12 through 18.  Based on the results of this test as well as research and years of practical experience, we developed Social Language Training Adolescent to provide therapy materials that help instructors focus students' attention on specific social skills.  Although these specific skills overlap each other in real life and even among the units of this book, drawing attention to the skills independently brings new awareness to students who otherwise might not "get it."

We arranged the units of this book in order of general skill complexity and development.  If a student has difficulty with a higher-level skill, present earlier units to make sure the student has mastered them.

The outcome of social skills training based on this book will be that students will behave in ways that promote positive, effective interactions with others.  The indicators for this outcome will be that students:

  • Identify and interpret facial expressions, gestures, posture, proximity, and wordless vocalizations (hmm, ah-ha, duh, etc.) in isolation and then together
  • Learn to pay attention to relevant details; ignore irrelevant ones; and use context, body language, and other clues to make reasonable inferences about what is happening and why
  • Think of more than one logical interpretation for a situation; develop flexibility in thinking and consider the logical possibilities
  • Understand key factors in evaluating others' perspectives; recognize that people in the same situation can think different thoughts and have different opinions
  • Recognize the feelings of other people and think of solutions to social problems that preserve or create friendships
  • Learn to recognize the paralinguistic features of conversations that are replete with innuendo, sarcasm, and metaphors in order to react appropriately in social situations
  • Learn to pay attention to body language, facial expressions, vocal intonation, and the expressive language of their peers, acquaintances, family members, strangers, and authority figures; learn to recognize appropriate and inappropriate reactions to these people and what to say and do
  • Learn to compromise, acquiesce, problem solve, listen, seek mutual resolutions, and negotiate

The activity sheets in this book are intended as fodder for stimulating discussion, modeling as necessary, and sharing related personal experience.  The need for writing is minimal; all written activities may be done orally.  In some cases, you may want to work through an activity sheet along with your students and then have them complete the sheets independently for reinforcement.

An answer key is provided for your reference.  Please note that the answers listed are simply examples; accept other logical answers as correct.

Depending on your students' skill levels, use the scenes within this book or from other sources as the basis for role-playing.  Work with your students to create a logical script for them to enact.

The more you talk with your students about people's expressions, thoughts, intentions, and problem solving, the more they will recognize the value of considering other people's perspectives.  That knowledge should yield increased empathy and respect for others.  It should also help your students consider the consequences of their actions in terms of other people's opinions as well as their own.

We hope you and your students enjoy this resource as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

Linda, Rosemary, and Carolyn