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.
- 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
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.
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- 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.
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