Showing posts with label social language skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social language skills. Show all posts

Success over the Years: Practical Tips for Sharing (and Losing!)


Sharing is a social skill that we start teaching when children are as young as 1-2 years of age, but it continues over the years. To be successful in social interactions, we share more than just our toys and possessions. We share our stories, our thoughts, our ideas, and our feelings with others throughout our lives. 
Tips for successfully building social language skills for peer interactions from LLL.

Our language skills impact how we are able to share and interact. 
These practical tips for sharing will make your therapy more successful at building social language interaction skills while directly working on other speech/language goals.

Research shows that there are many factors that have an impact on sharing behavior: understanding of ownership, impulse control, and thinking about others’ perspectives, to name just a few.

How does this affect what we do in speech/language therapy and classrooms, especially with our autistic kids who are more likely to be bullied?

Tips for preschoolers to early elementary students


👀 Begin to teach sharing in activities with items that are not owned or possessed by either child, such as play sharing activities between two characters, working on pronouns his, hers, theirs.

👀 Practice sharing and turn-taking between children using similar objects that are not highly preferred by either, such as puzzles, and teach pronouns yours and mine.

👀 Have children request toys from each other during play rather than grabbing, teaching polite words such as "Can I?", please, and thank you.

👀 Have  children learn to wait for turns, teaching words like wait, short turn, and long turn.

👀 Start teaching perspective-taking skills by having them look at their peer and tell you how that child is feeling while waiting.

👀 Use a timer at first, if needed, but don’t stop there. Students need to learn to be able to share of their own accord rather than being told when to share (whether in words or timer use.)

👀 It is okay not to share everything! When we have new toys or very special items, we don’t always want to share. Just don’t bring them to school. At home, keep the special toys out of sight when friends come over or designate a nonshared toy for each sibling.


Read books about sharing to discuss how it makes people feel.
    👀 Read stories and discuss how we feel when someone grabs something, when we are waiting too long, or when we don’t get a turn.


      Helpful books for this age range, that directly discuss sharing, are shown in the picture.

Tips for later elementary students to teens



At older ages, students have learned to share objects. Our autistic students may actually share too much, according to research, accepting unfair trades and giving away more than they keep. Students in these age ranges may have problem sharing more abstract items, even though they can share common items perfectly well at this point.    
Tips to build skills in older students for losing games gracefully.


Sharing: Who Wins the Game?


This is often a problem, but there are some things that you can do.

👀 Begin with cooperative games where there are no losers and no winners. Teach concepts like having fun playing the game and co-operating.

👀 Use games where students don’t win, but they get to make predictions about what piece or color will win. They can even change their predictions along the way! Teach concepts such as first, then, next, and change.

👀 Play act sore losers and poor winners versus graceful ones with the game pieces. Talk about how that makes people feel and which type of player they would choose for the next game.

👀 Instead of congratulating and keeping track of the winners, give points for being kind/graceful winners or losers. Talk about if they enjoyed playing the game.

👀 Keep a chart of how many times your students politely played until the game was finished.

Join the Looks Like Language to Me Facebook group for this free social rules story about losing games!
👀 Join the Facebook group ‘Looks Like Language to Me’ to download the free social rules story to use with your students.

Sharing: Telling a Story

Make sure that your students are able to share personal narratives. You may be surprised at who has problems with this!

👀 Students who can only tell a fact about their weekend, rather than a cohesive story, may have problems having age-appropriate conversations with peers.

👀 Students who have problems clearly and quickly retelling a plot of a tv show, movie, or video game will be left out of these conversations.

👀 Students who aren’t able to share what they liked or disliked, and why, may not be able to actively participate in peer conversations about a movie, game or tv show.

👀 For working on narratives, learn about Story Grammar and adjust the ideas to the age level of your students.


Sharing: Feelings


Students who have problems labeling and expressing their own feelings are likely to not understand what to say or do when peers reach out to them in conversation about a problem they are having.

Students who are both impulsive and unable to verbally share their feelings are also likely to be the students who disrupt games with physical reactions like storming out or throwing the game on the floor. Try the tips listed above as they may not have been able to learn this skill when younger.

Sharing Equally- or Being Fair


As mentioned before, autistic students are more likely to just be compliant and overshare, or accept less than their fair share, which can lead to being bullied.

This can cause difficulties for resolving conflicts in middle and high school, where students often need to work in groups. Having the language to negotiate and stand up for ourselves is a functional skill that may need to be directly worked on.


Want to read more?

Helpful Articles

Sharing skills, and what we are sharing, change over the years, but are an ever present part of social interactions over a lifetime. The research is vast, but here are a few helpful articles to check out.

Mine or Yours? Development of Sharing in Toddlers in Relation to Ownership Understanding
This article has a great overview of some research on sharing and gives insight on the development of sharing skills.
Young Brains Lack Skills for Sharing
This quick read gives information about neurological skills needed for sharing.
Do Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Share Fairly and Reciprocally?
An in-depth research article that cites information about the possible roles of many neurological skills in sharing, including Theory Of Mind.
Research finds kids share when it's done by choice.
Another quick read that tells us that we need to teach children to make choices to share rather than making them share.

Making It Work: 3 Steps for Using Adapted Books and Play

Do you ever finish reading something and wonder, "The idea sounds good but how do I make it work for me?" Read on for 3 concrete, practical tips for combining adapted books and play that you can put to use immediately!

3 steps for using books and play in speech/language therapy!
Step 1: Choose a theme!

How about a picnic theme? It is lots of fun and has so many options. Themes allow you to:

      • Make groups work when you have to switch your groups around for make-up sessions.

      •  Coordinate with the theme being used in a pre-K or K classroom.

      • Get out a limited set of toys, books and craft activities for the time you are using the theme.

      • Start collecting fun toys and activities to expand your theme for next year.




Picnic books for kids and YouTube books, too!
Step 2: Choose and adapt a book!

There are so many choices!

⁃ Start by looking at what you already have around or can get inexpensively. Planning ahead and looking at the Scholastic Book club choices can be a good way to go, so parents can get the same book for home carryover!

⁃ Often it is good to have a higher level book and a lower level one for your theme, so you can meet most of the goals you are working on and have a cohesive set of follow-up activities for everyone.

⁃ Look at the pictures in the book. Does the text talk about what is happening in the picture or can you adapt the text easily so that they match? Our students need to have this visual matching support to make sense of the language in the text.

⁃ Adapt the book so that your lower-level students can fill in the vocabulary words while your higher-level students can complete the sentences. This can be done easily if you have more than one place with a blank Velcro spot to add the missing symbols. Just choose which set of symbols to remove depending on the needs of each student or group.


Playing out the story plot helps build language and literacy skills!
Step 3: Choose your follow-up activities!

You want these activities to reinforce the language and concepts for the theme and the book. Best practice would have you read the entire book first before you focus on sections of it for skill-building.

1. Start with the object vocabulary. 
Find toys or bring in the real items to elicit the labels. How about a picnic basket filled with the items you are talking about? Students can take turns putting their hand in the basket without peeking and pull out an item to label.

2.  Re-enact the plot sequence by doing the activity. 
This is a great way to reinforce the object labels and introduce the verbs that go with  them. If your students can handle it, go outside to an enclosed area and have a picnic with their favorite snack and drink. 

Do you have runners? Then have a picnic on your therapy room floor with the door closed. Still won’t work? Put a plastic tablecloth or red bulletin board paper over your table and have your picnic there while your student is in the accustomed seating.

3.  Now that your students have some experience with a picnic, go back to your adapted book and see how successful they are at completing it. 


Activity ideas with a picnic theme!
Note their errors to choose which follow up activities to use:

* Play having a picnic with toys.
* Do a craft to make/decorate/color the vocabulary items.
* Play a game with pictures of the activities involved in the theme.
* Watch a You-tube video associated with the theme.
* Use an interactive activity on your iPad for the theme. BOOM Cards are great for this!
* Make a flipbook activity for forming sentences.
* Adapt a picture worksheet to make an interactive activity, or have your higher-level students just complete the worksheet.
* Have students fill in more of the symbols in your adapted book, or use additional books to expand their language for the theme.



Try Autism File Folder Activities: Picnic!
Of course, you can always make life easier for yourself and check this out at my store!

It has sentence building games and activities, photos, and adapted books at different levels to meet the needs of diverse groups.



Enjoy!




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