Field Experience: Behavioral Interventions and Social Skills Instructions

Field Experience: Behavioral Interventions and Social Skills Instructions

ASD can be a challenging condition. The disorder typically affects the person, whether a toddler, teenager or an adult, in various aspects of their lives. However, their lack of social skills is at the core of their problems, and this affects their general relationships with people at school and home. During the visit to a local educational setting of choice, it was necessary to evaluate the students in the quest to find an available candidate to assess and, help him or her improve their social skills. The student, for the sake of this whole process of observation, assessment, and intervention, will take the name Brian.

Brian is ten years old and is one of the most talented and intelligent students in the institution. His teachers attest to his abilities in mathematics and other subjects that make use of numbers. He is also proficient in art and shows a very keen interest in drawing. His abilities to calculate help him achieve astonishing pieces of art, which, makes him famous in the school. Brian also enjoys music and films and spends a significant portion of his free time listening, watching or trying to understand underlying meanings in musical pieces and movies.However, Brian needs a lot of help in social environments. He finds it difficult to understand other people in most social situations. Brian becomes overwhelmed or aggressive when faced with change or when other protocols override his method of achieving objectives. Brian raises his tone when confronted with words or actions he finds disturbing, mostly which are colloquial.

The most notable behavior affecting his ability to interact with others is his inability to disagree with others politely. Brian’s personality forces him to apply an ‘all or nothing’ rule to everything and everyone, which mostly disrupts events, as others, including his teachers, have to change their methods of operation to suit his needs and quickly be able to help others students. Some teachers understand his condition and have no problem compromising for the sake of his education, while others find it hard to understand him especially when there are other autistic students in the institution. His peers, on the other hand, raise more concerns. They find it extremely difficult to correct Brian for fear of overreaction and unnecessary aggression. For this reason, Brian finds himself alone in and out of class which becomes unhealthy for his development and, his education. It is, therefore, crucial, to develop an intervention that will enable him to learn how to accept the many differences in a social setting, how to take correction and apologize, all of which amount to polite disagreements.

There is a myriad of strategies employed differently for intervention purposes. These practices aim at creating awareness and teaching affected individuals like Brian the various ways to react in social settings. The use of social scripts employees the use of narratives to teach individuals the appropriate responses the most common and possible situations. In this strategy, the goal is to ensure that an individual learns how to initiate diplomatic contact, and know what to say to respond to both politely and engagingly (Barnett, 2018). Another practice involves a hidden curriculum which focuses on socially silent rules well known by others but difficult to grasp for an individual with ASD. In the modern world, computers and other technologized applications are also important in social instructions in varied settings. These devices may be extremely convenient in the use of film and music to instill knowledge on various matters of social interaction and expectation. This approach may conveniently suit Brian’s needs, due to his interest and growing liking for visual and audible arts.

Objective – The learner will be able to disagree politely with peers, teachers and other persons in varied social settings, by anticipating change and, responding to situations respectfully.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule is a valuable evaluation tool in documenting the baseline of an individual with autism and, the eventual comparison with outcomes after the application of the intervention (Guercio&Hahs, 2015). This tool was useful in determining Brian’s baseline data. On averagely normal days, Brian got into more than ten heated arguments per week due to his insistent, unrelenting and perfectionist attitudes. However after a significant number of sessions, incorporating narratives and a portrayal of expected social scenarios in colorful films, he started to understand the existence of different personalities among people. Also, Brian learned how to initiate conversations to improve his relationship with people. This relationship would then enable people understand him more and accept his apologies, eventually. It was curious to know that had no idea that he was offensive, and although it took three sessions for him to finally get the difference between polite and impolite, in their basic forms, he displayed an interest in putting to practice learned lessons. After a few sessions Brian’s relationship improved and he by the end of the week the total number of impolite reduced by half.


Data Collection Sheet

Setting Observation Length in (Min) Date


Total No. of Impolite Disagreements (ID) No of ID Before Intervention No of  ID After Intervention
Class Setting 20 17th-23rd 17 11 6
Outside Class 35 17th – 23rd 14 10 4



Barnett, J. H. (2018). Three Evidence-Based Strategies that Support Social Skills and Play Among Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Early Childhood Education Journal46(6), 665-672.

Guercio, J. M., &Hahs, A. D. (2015). Applied behavior analysis and the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS): A symbiotic relationship for advancements in services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Behavior analysis in practice8(1), 62-65.

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