Many of the children I work with both at my school and private practice struggle with social communication skills. I’ve found that across ages, most respond well to therapy that includes several principles: breaking skills down into concrete steps, analyzing elements of successful interactions and role-playing. My latest packet includes all three elements and it’s a fun Halloween theme!
There are 16 target skill areas including listening, apologizing, giving compliments and interrupting. You can choose the target area(s) that your student needs to practice. Depending on age, attention span and time constraints, I usually choose between three and six.
There are 45 Social Scenarios (approximately three per target skill). For ease of preparation, I’ve numbered and indexed the scenarios–no need to fumble looking for matching cards!
Pull out the scenario cards that match the target skill and place them face-down on the table. After turning over the top card, the students reads the scenario and decides which target skill it “matches”.
We now decide what skills are needed to be successful at that social interaction. I’ve included a visual prompt sheet to help students generate ideas. I recommend reviewing the sheet beforehand; I chose graphics that depict use of the skill. I like to spend some time talking about the pictures–kids love to make “smart guesses” about what’s happening in the picture and why the skill is important in the context depicted. This prompt sheet is not meant to be comprehensive, just to get the ideas flowing.
I’ve found it helpful to laminate the sheet and let the student use a dry-erase marker to circle their choices. You can add their additional ideas with sticky notes. There really are no wrong answers; the idea is to just get them socially thinking!
There are role-play cards for each target skill with step-by-step prompts. We review these, taking into account any additional ideas the student has generated. Then we all role-play!
Oh! I almost forgot the Halloween part! There is this cute trick-or-treat bag that you can distribute to each student. There’s also “candy” that can be collected as reinforcers.
You can take a look at this in my TPT store. Happy Halloween!