The introduction section highlights how important it is to help individuals suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder to live a normal life. It has mentioned of the actions that might be taken to make this happen. CEC professional standards denote the caliber that should be maintained while dealing with individuals suffering from ASD. The overview shows how complicated it can be for an individual while dealing with social situations. This aspect shows the need for effective social skills to ensure that individuals get positive reactions and evaluations from peers. The section on social skill difficulties asserts that the social skill deficits can be categorized into social initiation, nonverbal communication, social cognition and social reciprocity. When it comes to nonverbal communication, individuals with ASD have difficulties in reading nonverbal cues, and there are others with the ability to read, but fail to interpret appropriately. Social initiation also becomes a problem since the individuals demonstrate aspects of apathy, anxiety or fear with regards to social interactions. Social reciprocity on the other hand, shows how individuals with ASD experience one-sided interactions. They either fail to respond to social initiations or end up doing all the talking. Social cognition on its part shows how important it is to understand customs, norms and values that are essential for healthy interactions.
The section on skill acquisition deficit vs. performance deficits reiterates that these aspects tend to guide the intervention strategies that would be used. This is because some interventions are best suited for performance deficit while others are suited for skill acquisition. The part on assessment of social skills indicates that the purpose of assessment is to identify skills that will be targeted directly by the intervention. This helps in monitoring outcomes associated with the social skills program. Evaluation of social skills tends to follow the administration of rating scales and interviews used for assessment. The naturalistic and structured methods of observation could be used to evaluate social functioning among children with ASD. This enables the observation of children’s social performance across social contexts, persons and settings. The section on evaluation of social competence shows how rating scales and interviews can be effective in this respect. Interviews allow for the collection of information regarding social functioning within a short time while rating scales have the ability to measure self-concept, self-esteem, anxiety and social functioning.
The section on social validity talks about the beliefs of consumers on whether they view that the treatment objectives are important for the children to achieve. This is because social validity has the ability to influence the treatment fidelity in a number of ways. The section on social objectives on its part emphasizes on how the social skills identified should be targeted towards the development of Individual Education Programs (IEP). The social objectives ought to define immediate, short-term behaviors, describe specific levels of performance and be connected to the intervention strategies directly. The summary of social skill intervention strategies asserts that children acquire social skills through modeling, observation, social problem solving, coaching, behavior rehearsal and feedback. The social skills training can be dished out through a variety of settings.
The section on skill acquisition strategies showcases various strategies that would help individuals suffering from ASD to acquire necessary skills that would be helpful for engaging in social situations. These strategies include social problem solving, social stories, pivotal response training, social scripting and video modeling.
The part on strategies that enhance the performance of existing skills encompasses action plans that would help individuals suffering from ASD to execute skills that they already possess. The strategies described here are prompting, peer-mediated interventions, priming, and self-monitoring.
The section on facilitating generalization shows how the inability to generalize a behavior or skill is as a result of excessive stimulus control. There has been a provision of some strategies that could be used to facilitate the generalization of the skills.
The information contained in this module is valuable for students. It is more helpful for students that will be involved with children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder due to the difficulties that they have to encounter in their daily lives. This is because some of these difficulties are even made worse by the support strategies being implemented to help them. The strategies are being implemented by people without sufficient knowledge or the people involved are doing it the wrong way. The module has provided various mechanisms that can be used to help children suffering from ASD. Students studying this module can acquire vital information, which they will put into action when they are dealing with children suffering from ASD.
The aspect of social competence equips students with the knowledge of the appropriate techniques to use to obtain information regarding social functioning. This is important since there are a lot of techniques out there. However, not all of these techniques are quite effective. Some are also not universal since they depend on a variety of certain factors to function optimally. The module has identified two techniques that could be effective, and there has been the provision of information on why they are effective. Social competence is quite critical for students suffering from ASD since it gives them a better chance of getting along with others and making new friends.
Another issue is that students using this module have the ability to learn ways of enhancing social interactions among children with ASD. There are many interventions that have been described in the module that would help teachers identify ways of improving these children’s social interaction. This is vital for the children since favorable social interaction will play a vital role in ensuring that the challenges they are facing have decreased significantly.
In general, the module equips students with knowledge of how to help students with ASD improve in various areas. The information is straight to the point to avoid any prevalent miscommunications.
There are various ways that the elements of this module can be implemented in a classroom. For me, among the ways that I would use is first identify the social skill difficulties being experienced by a child. This will help in identifying whether the deficit it attributed to non-verbal communication, social initiation, social recognition or social reciprocity. This will help in ensuring that the child involved receives the appropriate intervention. Some interventions are effective, but they fail to work since they are being applied to the wrong situation. This is what makes it important to identify the source of the deficit in order to come up with the most favorable intervention.
I would also make sure that the deficits emanating from skill acquisition and those arising due to performance have been substantiated. This is because the intervention strategies adopted tend to depend on these aspects. There is no way you can present a performance enhancement strategy to a child that was mainly experiencing a skill acquisition deficit. Though some strategies might have the capability of enhancing the performance of existing skills and teaching new skills, the two categories are not mutually exclusive. By use of this approach, I will be able to target relevant skills directly.
When evaluating the social competence, I will make use of the rating scales and interviews during the assessment. This is because the rating scales have the ability to measure adaptive behaviors, behavioral functioning, self-esteem, self-concept, anxiety and social functioning. This means that I will have the ability to evaluate various aspects associated with the child suffering from ASD. Interviews on their part have the ability to synthesize information from different individuals while representing a range of settings. This takes a relatively short time. As a result, this will allow me to make informed decisions about the focus and direction of the program.
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