A Quest for Social Skills for Students with Autism or Asperger’s: Ready-to-use lessons with games, role-play activities, and more!
by JoEllen Cumpata and Susan Fell
Future Horizons, 2010
About the Book
Why start a social skills program?
The question is not why, but why not?
With inclusive education becoming the norm in schools nationwide, teachers often struggle to address students’ non-academic needs—but teachers need ready-to-use lessons that won’t interfere with their curriculum.
QUEST (Questioning, Understanding, and Exploring Social Skills and Pragmatic Language Together) is a social skills program created to help middle school students with ASD who struggle with pragmatic language and social skills.
Developed by a school social worker and speech language pathologist, the program uses an intensive, proactive approach to teaching social skills, combining written instruction with games, activities, and student interaction.
Six helpful units—School Survival Basics, Understanding and Managing Emotion, Communication Skills, Making Friends and Interacting with Peers, Personal Safety, Vocational Readiness—can be implemented either chronologically or on their own. Evidence-based research supports the methods used and students have a great time learning-by-doing, through role-play and real-world experience. Parents are kept in the loop with email updates and evaluations. Everyone wins with this program!
Best of all, the book includes a CD of printable worksheets, letters, forms, and more!
QUEST covers: Greetings, Paying Attention, Daily Hygiene, Asking for Help, Understanding Feelings, Getting Angry/Calming Down, Managing Stress, Starting a Conversation, Making and Keeping Friends, Gossip, Bullying, and Teasing, Resisting Peer Pressure, Dating, Internet and E-mail Safety, and many more!
I am extremely impressed with this book. The lessons seem perfectly suited to the upper elementary and older students, which is where my son is now. With his moving into fourth grade this year and to a school with a more established social skills program, he has actually begun receiving group instruction on a regular basis, through a combination of push-ins during group work in science and social studies to lunch bunches and other small group activities. I can see the lessons in this book tying in very easily with what the SLP is doing, as well as being age-appropriate for the kids.
The manual is divided into several topical sections:
- The school survival section has many of the things we are trying to instill in my son right now, from paying attention and asking for help to organizing his workspace and using an assignment book. Plus there’s even a lesson on daily hygiene, which is quickly becoming more important at our house!
- The sections on understanding emotions, communication skills, and making friends are all topics that he has been working on for years, but these lessons seem to provide a fresh approach to use within a structured classroom setting that also emphasized practical application of the skills.
- The personal safety and vocational readiness skills seem most appropriate for middle school and high school, students, although some of the information is more and more needed by younger students as kids may still encounter bullying and gossip, as well as be socializing online at an earlier age than the previous generation.
The book also includes a CD with PDF files of all the necessary printables for the lessons, making it as easy as possible to prepare and implement the program. I am excited about being to share this with my son’s SLP and hope that she will find it to be as useful as I think it will be!
Discount Opportunity: If you order A QUEST for Social Skills directly from Future Horizons, you can use the code INTERRUPTED to receive 15% off and free shipping in the continental US.
Note: I received a review copy for free, but all opinions are my own. I am an affiliate of Future Horizons and receive a small amount of compensation for any sales made using the promotional code provided. You can use the code INTERRUPTED when ordering books or other materials – or even conference registrations – to receive 15% off plus free shipping in the continental US.