Ten Guidelines to Facilitate Social Groups for Students with Complex Special Needs

By Sartini, Emily C.; Knight, Victoria F. et al. | Teaching Exceptional Children, January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Ten Guidelines to Facilitate Social Groups for Students with Complex Special Needs


Sartini, Emily C., Knight, Victoria F., Collins, Belva C., Teaching Exceptional Children


Kyle and other children with special needs provide unique challenges for many classroom teachers. Students with complex special needs, including students with severe and multiple disabilities (SMD) and students with ASD, often struggle in establishing peer relationships, engaging in conversation, and using language to express thoughts and feelings (Howlin, 2006; National Research Council, 2001; Prizant & Wetherby, 2005). These challenges in social interactions are usually due to communication needs. For example, students with ASD rarely respond or initiate conversation as often as their peers (National Research Council, 2001). Students who have difficulties in communication may also be at higher risk for social problems (e.g., Benner, Rogers-Adkinson, Mooney, & Abbott, 2007).

Much of the research on social skills and peer interactions includes students with ASD. These studies have investigated a number of successful strategies to increase peer interactions. Zanolli, Daggett, and Adams (1996) studied the use of "priming" during social skills groups that included preschool boys with ASD and their peers. In the priming strategy, the teacher conducts a social skills lesson immediately prior to the social activity. During the priming session, the teacher uses the same materials that will be used in the social skills activity. The teacher creates frequent opportunities for reinforcement in the context of a low-demand activity. For example, the teacher may praise a student for giving eye contact or taking a seat in the class. In this study, students with ASD developed the ability to initiate interactions with their peers, and, consequently, peers increased their interactions with students with ASD (Zanolli et al., 1996).

Other researchers also have advocated the use of explicit practice in social skills instruction. In their study of students with ASD, Liber, Frea, and Symon (2008) taught social skills to elementary school students with ASD using the time delay technique. They provided frequent, structured practice opportunities to increase peer interactions, which increased the students' ability to interact appropriately with their peers.

In addition to teaching students with complex special needs how to initiate and sustain interactions with their peers, an equally important component is the use of peer training in social skills instruction. Owen-DeSchryver, Carr, Cale, and Blakeley-Smith (2008) taught strategies to peers without disabilities for conversing and interacting with their second- and fourth-grade peers with ASD. This intervention taught students about the characteristics of individuals with ASD, gave strategies for promoting conversation with students with ASD, and provided numerous practice opportunities for students, thus enabling them to develop conversation topics.

Researchers also have examined social skills training for peers and students with complex special needs in the context of inclusive settings. For example, Kamps, Leonard, Vernon, Dugan, and Delquadri (1992) successfully taught conversation skills to firstgrade students with ASD and their peers. Both peers and students with ASD were able to increase their number of interactions.

In another example of social skills instruction within a primary inclusive classroom, Laushey and Heflin (2000) implemented a peer buddy system for kindergarten students with ASD and their peers. They trained peers, as well as students with ASD, in social skills. After the intervention, the students with ASD demonstrated increased interactions with peers and improved social skills, such as taking turns, obtaining peer attention, and making eye contact.

Last, Taylor and colleagues (2005) examined social skills instruction in a functional context. In their study, they required students with ASD to ask a peer for access to an edible reinforcer (i.e., a snack). The students with ASD demonstrated increased interactions with peers when they were required to ask for preferred reinforcers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ten Guidelines to Facilitate Social Groups for Students with Complex Special Needs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.