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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The following excerpt is from an article originally presented in Teach Magazine featuring Boys Town Press authors, Venita Litvack, M.A., CCC-SLP and Kimberly Tice, MS, CCC-SLP. They are coauthors of the "Lou Knows What to Do" series, which highlights social skills that are helpful for young children, especially those with sensory processing disorders or on the autism spectrum.  

Teaching appropriate social skills is an integral part of effective ​autism intervention. This is difficult because "social skills" are not a straightforward lesson and since a range of communication deficits are present in persons with autism, these concepts may not be enough. Social stories have been proven an effective form of intervention. Pairing lessons with visuals in the stories helps to solidify concepts for children. Stories don't just suggest appropriate behaviors, they also describe different settings and social scenarios so that children know what to ​expect. These stories can be revisited to help the students internalize this knowledge and become more comfortable with new surroundings or situations, which leads to a reduction in negative behaviors.

The following are some social skills the authors ​recommend to use with kids who have an autism spectrum disorder. Each skill is broken down into 4 to 6 very direct, clear steps which make them easier to understand and teach. The corresponding social skills and steps are from the Boys Town book, "Teaching Social Skills to Youth: An Easy-to-Follow Guide to Teaching 183 Basic to Complex Life Skills." Remember, yo​u may have to adjust the skill or use different language depending on the skill and developmental level of the child.​​


Requesting Clarification when Confused

Speaking At an Acceptable Volume

Reading Social Cues

Initiating Conversation