Social Communication & ASD

Question: Can you recommend some strategies to help me teach appropriate social communication skills to my students with ASD?

Response: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) learn best when they are given explicit instructions and a manageable social context to practice appropriate language and actions. I recommend that students are first provided with clear and concrete social rules (e.g., stay one arm’s length from other person; follow the speaker’s conversation lead/interest). Teaching simple social "scripts" is a great way to model these rules. Social scripts can be written in response to the student’s personal needs, for a confusing situation or for an upcoming event. Once a script has been created, try to role-play how to initiate a conversation and how to predict and react to what another person will say. These sessions can also be recorded and used to review the socially appropriate and inappropriate behaviors displayed by the students to show them their areas of strength and the areas in which they need improvement. You can find more examples and best practices for supporting social communication skills in students with ASD at our Resource Page.