Sunday, November 11, 2012

Social-Communication & Autism

We know that a diagnosis of Autism means that there are struggles in the area of communication, social skills and social-communication. There are a number of books and articles written on the hidden curriculum and the need for direct and explicit instruction in this area. Socialization and communication are directly tied and can be linked to greater success as an adult. We know if we build upon play skills and social-communication early on that our students will have much better long term outcomes. One of the things we do not always consider is the difference in social-communication expectations. We apply our social rules to others. To a certain degree this is a piece of what we have to look at when teaching social-communication. However, we also must consider the views of people with Autism. We know that social-communication differs significantly by culture. Although we do not always consider this as much as we should in schools, many more teachers are aware of these differences and how they can play out across environments and in which skills are prioritized. We need to begin to consider doing the same for students with ASD. James Williams, a man with Autism has a wonderful website you should visit. One his website he discusses the 6 Principles of Autistic Interactions. I would recommend reading them and considering how these principles could or should be applied when thinking about social skill development and social-communication skills.We need to work together to support our students. This includes figuring all of this out together with those who know best - the people with Autism.

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