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Speech Therapy: Social Skill Instruction

By Rosemarie Griffin

Social skill instruction can be challenging! We want to make sure that we provide meaningful instruction that will help our students in their journey to more robust social skills.

Analyzing pictured potential social situations can be a good first step. Discussing emotions depicted and having students relate this to their own life is an essential step in the therapeutic process.

Download my Navigating The Social Scene freebie to get started. Just enter your email address at the bottom of the blog.

Other strategies that are very helpful when working on social skills may include the following:

a. Collaborating with the IEP team. We need to make sure that we are all on the same page with supporting the application of these skills into the larger school environment.

b. Using video modeling. Video modeling is an evidenced based strategy and can be very helpful when working with students. If you have permission, you can create a video of the student engaging in the targeted skill (i.e. asking for help, entering the classroom, asking a peer to play). You can use this video before the opportunity to engage in the skills takes place. Sharing this video with the team can also be helpful.

c. Observe the student in the larger school environment. This will allow you to gauge the student’s ability to apply learned social skills in a variety of environments. It also allows you to provide feedback and coaching regarding the generalization of skills outside of the therapy room.

d. Self monitoring. Discuss the specific social skill goals with your student. Have them identify their goals. Create a goal sheet and a way for student’s to check in and self monitor how they are doing with their goals.

Each student will benefit from an individualized approach to social skill instruction. These strategies are a starting point that you can use in therapy with your clients. Download this freebie today and get started with functional social skill instruction.

Other Resources I Love For Social Skill Instruction Include: Everyday Speech, Skillstreaming.

If you want more social scene examples, purchase our best selling Navigating the Social Scene Bundle from TPT. Buyers are saying “The real pictures, and relevant scenes they depict are helpful when making predictions, inferences and role-playing what would you say/do.” “I’m always looking for materials to target socials skills. This is great!”

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Here's a free resource–

IEP Goal Bank

Writing IEPs for autistic learners can feel daunting.


From this free download, you'll get real-life examples of specific, measurable goals for expressive language, receptive language, play skills, and imitation.

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