Emotional Awareness and Regulation
- Given a familiar visual, NAME will name how she is feeling in 2 out of 3 opportunities across 2 settings.
- NAME will identify two body sensations related to a feeling he is experiencing in 60% of opportunities given a visual and moderate adult support.
- Given a familiar visual and verbal cues, NAME will indicate how he is feeling and why in 60% of observed opportunities.
- Given a familiar visual, NAME will identify how he is feeling and one tool he could use to self-regulate in 3 out of 4 observed opportunities.
- Given a hypothetical scenario, NAME will identify a desired energy level that is appropriate for the situation, and 2-3 tools he could use to adjust his energy level in 3/4 scenarios across 2 sessions.
- During a social role play activity, NAME will rehearse how to self-advocate or ask for help in 3 different situations across 2 sessions.
- Given a familiar visual or written cues, NAME will ask for help using a question in 70% of observed opportunities within a 20-minute session.
- NAME will identify what help he would need in presented and incidental scenarios in 75% of opportunities across 3 sessions.
- Given an example problem from their life, NAME will identify 2+ things they could say to advocate for their needs, help solve the problem, or communicate with others in 3 out of 4 opportunities.
- When he needs assistance, NAME will explain the problem so his listener can understand and ask for help in 3 out of 5 observed opportunities in the classroom setting.
- NAME will describe 3 or more strategies or tools that help her be successful in an academic environment.
- Using scenes from a familiar picture book, NAME will identify 2-3 thoughts and/or feelings a character might be having in 8 out of 10 opportunities given a visual.
- Given a scenario from his life, NAME will describe his thoughts, perceptions, and intentions in 3 out of 5 opportunities.
- NAME will correctly identify how others are feeling and identify at least one specific visual clue in 80% of opportunities given gestural cues and a familiar visual.
- Given a hypothetical social scenario and a familiar visual, NAME will describe the perspectives, intentions, thoughts, or feelings of the people involved in 70% of opportunities.
- When given a specific behavior, NAME will identify how it might make others feel, how he might feel, and possible results with 70% accuracy given a familiar visual or graphic organizer.
- Given a scenario from their life, NAME will identify the problem and how they felt about it in 2 out of 3 opportunities across 2 sessions.
- Given a picture, NAME will identify a problem and 2 or more solutions in 4 out of 5 opportunities.
- Given a picture, NAME will identify what someone in the picture could say to help solve a problem in 7 out of 8 opportunities across 2 sessions.
- Given an example problem from their life, NAME will identify the cause, 2+ solutions, and what they could say to help solve the problem in 2 out of 3 opportunities.
- NAME will use a familiar graphic organizer to determine 2 or more possible outcomes to a social situation or problem, and determine which outcome would be the best choice and why in 4 out of 5 opportunities given a familiar visual and minimal verbal cues.
- NAME will identify the size of presented or incidental problems and explain why with 80% accuracy given a familiar visual and minimal verbal cues.
- NAME will identify how to be flexible in response to a self-rated small problem in 4/5 opportunities given 1 verbal cue.
- Given a written example conversation, NAME will identify 3 or more conversation parts (greeting, question, statement, response, closer, etc…) in 4 out of 5 opportunities across 2 sessions.
- Given a familiar topic, NAME will identify two statements and two questions they could use in a conversation related to that topic in 4 out of 5 opportunities across 2 sessions.
- (Given a topic), NAME will name 2+ examples of 4 different conversation parts (greeting, question, statement, response, closer, etc…) across 3 sessions.
- Given a visual, NAME will identify a topic of mutual interest with a peer and engage in a 3 minute conversation about it across 3 consecutive sessions.
- NAME will identify how to greet and initiate a conversation with a peer, and will appropriately initiate a conversation with a peer once in a 20 minute therapy session provided indirect cues.
- Given written or verbal cues, NAME will initiate a conversation with a peer, ask a question, and answer a question in 60% of observed opportunities within a 20 minute session.
- NAME will use conversation maintenance strategies (i.e. making comments to perpetuate the conversation, providing turn taking opportunities) 2 or more times in a 5 minute conversation sample.
- Given a visual, NAME will demonstrate topic maintenance, as evidenced by taking 3+ turns per conversational topic, 2x per 30-minute session, across 3 consecutive sessions.
- Given a conversation with one other peer or adult, NAME will maintain a topic of conversation of the other person’s choosing by asking partner-focused questions and making comments for at least 3 conversational turns in 65% of opportunities.
- NAME will make a 3-step plan for an upcoming (familiar, preferred) activity in 3 out of 4 opportunities given a graphic organizer and minimal adult support.
- NAME will make and follow a 3-step plan containing preferred activities in 3 out of 4 consecutive therapy sessions.
- Given an upcoming activity, NAME will make a 3+ step plan and a back-up plan in case something goes wrong given minimal adult support in 3 out of 4 opportunities.
Read more about my goals here.
Teaching Social Communication Skills
Social communication skills are critical life skills. They’re necessary for bonding over shared interests, telling stories to your friends, and communicating your feelings, needs, and ideas to others. They help people feel seen and heard.
Social communication involves several skills including:
Awareness of your own and others’ emotions
Adapting your language use based on context
Understanding others’ perspective
Communicating effectively with other people
It’s important to note there is not a single set of standard social rules or norms. Every family, every culture, and every social group has its own set of norms and expectations. Because of this, it’s ineffective to teach singular, rigid rules that apply across the board to every child.
Here’s my top tips for teaching social communication skills:
- Be an advocate for your students. Work with other team members about ways to better support our students’ sensory needs, learning needs, and emotional needs. Always do this alongside self-advocacy work you do with your students.
- Don’t center your social communication work teaching around blending in. Instead, focus on your learners knowing themselves, seeing themselves as part of a community (giving and receiving support), feeling empowered to solve problems and self-advocate, and being able to meet their wants and needs socially.
- Teach skills directly, clearly, and systematically.
- Work on skills that are motivating to and useful for the learner. Think about skills that will help them live a fulfilling, authentic life that makes them happy and engaged with the world around them.
In case you want to see some example benchmarks for social communication skills, I’ve found this list from ASHA to be a helpful resource.
Explicitly teach and practice self-advocacy skills using this freebie —> Asking for Help Sticky Notes
And learn more about each other with 3 of my favorite social activities:
- Two Truths and Lie
- Info Dump
- Peak and Pit
Receive all 3 of these printables for free when you sign-up for my email newsletter in the box below!
Sign up for my email newsletter and get 3 FREE social games printables!This free download includes 3 fun, engaging social activities you can play with the kids you work with including Info Dump, Two Truths and a Lie, and Peak & Pit.
Social Communication Skills Using Narratives
As you might already know, I love using narratives as the foundation for many of my therapy sessions because they’re engaging and I can target nearly anything with them. Even social communication skills!
Telling stories is the foundation of how relationships are built so helping children develop storytelling skills can increase engagement in social interactions. Other social communication skills like understanding others’ perspectives and emotions can easily be targeting using stories and narratives as well.
Typically developing preschoolers can talk about the thoughts and feelings of characters in stories including the use of emotion vocabulary words, so this can be a great target or goal for students at a variety of language levels.
Story elements and story structure often highlight social responses to events in narratives, like characters’ thoughts, feelings, and reactions. For example, a character might assess a situation, make a plan, problem solve, demonstrate self-awareness, or show understanding of other’s emotions or perspectives throughout the story.
Discussions about stories can provide lots of opportunities to reflect on the characters’ feelings and how they responded to different situations.
Last, children’s theory of mind skills often align closely with the development of their narrative skills. Both of these skills are closely related to reading comprehension as well.
To learn more about story elements, check out that skill page here >> Story Elements
Want to check out my story units made just for speech and language therapy? Check them out below!