I've been working with students and clients with autism for 17 years now. I love working with this population and have accumulated an entire bookshelf filled with social skill materials and books. Did I hear someone say hoooooooooooooooarder?
For therapy, one of my favorite books is We can make it Better by Elizabeth M. Delsandro.
Most of the materials in this kit are designed to complement Michelle Garcia Winner's Social
Thinking® Curriculum. To learn more about the Social Thinking® and the vocabulary listed below please refer to her website: www.socialthinking.com.
1. Balanced Weight Scale from Learning Resources. To work on conversational turn taking and balanced conversations.
2. Jello Brain Mold I purchased from Target after Halloween to work on Flexible Thinking© and also the ideas of different kinds of Social Smarts©.
3. A Rock and a Flexible Brain© purchased from Social Thinking®.
4. Mini Magnifying glasses purchased at a party goods store to focus on looking for social clues or being a Social Detective.
5. Giant Body parts purchased at the dollar store to focus on Whole Body Listening concepts and Thinking with your eyes©.
6. Magnetic Poetry Emotion Faces. I like these because it breaks it down to what are the eyes feeling/what is the mouth feeling.
7. Shoe NotePads to go with Jenna Rayburn's In your Shoes Pragmatic Download as well as other perspective taking in your shoes activities.
8. Chalkboard paper thought bubbles I purchased at Michaels.
I really like Hamaguchi App's Between the Lines series for working on tone of voice, sarcasm, perspective taking and idioms/slang. The Hamaguchi apps are the best for allowing you to customize to fit your students.
The Social Express is another great app that really targets social skills aligned with Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking® curriculum. It is expensive but they do put this app on sale.
Blogs are some of the best places to find great, practical ideas for use in therapy. I am in awe of each of these bloggers. I know this totally dorky-they are like blogger celebrities. The information they have provided has changed my therapy for the better. If I met them in real life, I would probably faint.
Jill Kuzma's SLP Social and Emotional Skill Sharing Site: Hands down the best social skills blog out there. This is the first speech therapy blog that I started to follow. There are tons of free resources, handouts and visuals to use when planning your social skills therapy sessions. I'm fairly certain I have downloaded and laminated everything from her site. Check out her Social filter download, her IEP goal ideas and her information on Perspective taking skills.
Autism Teaching Strategies: This site is written from a mental health perspective. It includes a ton of freebies as well as products for purchase. The ideas and activities are motivating to children. He is a coauthor of RYUU which is a creative and awesome social skills program which uses dragons and trading cars similar to Pokeman to engage students in conversations regarding social skills. Check out the Green zone for conversation and his newest published product: The Conversation Train.
Autism Games: and Autism Games blog These sites are no longer being updated. But it is worth some serious blog stalking if you work with children who have difficulty engaging at all with you. There are so many games and ideas to build interactive skills. Plus she has a ton of videos for you to observe her therapy techniques. These have a heavy RDI focus so it is probably not information you learned in school. I highly recommend you take time to read it. The information is FANTASTIC! Check out the videos, the parent tips and the why games are important in therapy.
TPT PRODUCTS: Shameless self promotion:
I have a couple of Social skills products-including a new one that is 50% off through tomorrow.
Visual Scavenger Hunts focuses on facial referencing, joint attention and following eye gaze. It's 50% off until tomorrow night!
Don't be a Zombie Nonverbal Language focuses on Tone of Voice, gestures, personal space and personal hygiene.
STAND up for good problem solving skills focuses on teaching the STAND model for problem solving and includes a variety of scenarios for practicing skills.
Stoplight emotions focuses on teaching students how to recognize emotions and understand that there are big and smaller emotions. Plus the illustrations were all done by my awesome husband.
Flip Flap Knock Knock Jokes focuses on teaching humor to children-progressing from visuals to auditory information only.