Listen to the interview shown below with Dr. Ellen McGinnis and Dr. Jason C. Travers along with Prosocially Yours podcast host Elizabeth Hess as they discuss the development of Skillstreaming Children and Youth with High-Functioning Autism.
The new Skillstreaming Children and Youth with High Functioning Autism: Student Workbook Group Leader’s Guide and Student Workbook accompany the successful manual, Skillstreaming Children and Youth with High Functioning Autism: A Guide to Teaching Prosocial Skills that teachers, counselors, clinicians, and other professionals use for teaching social skills to students with autism.
Specific strategies that have proven successful in aiding learning for youth with Autism are detailed along with examples of their use. Users can then apply the Skillstreaming process as outlined, and the learner-friendly strategies included in teaching many of the other social skills included in the Skillstreaming for Children and Youth with High-Functioning Autism program manual.
Research clearly suggests that teaching social skills to students with autism can help them get along with peers, make and keep friends, understand and solve conflict, and achieve personal and professional goals in their schools and communities as well as later on as adults. Social skills instruction can also help students learn to understand their emotions, control their behavior, and experience a greater sense of well-being.
A Skillstreaming leader will prepare and deliver lessons on these and other social skills by using the following four learning activities:
- Modeling (showing the child what to say or do)
- Role-play (the child will try out the skill just modeled within the group setting that will be needed in real-life situations)
- Feedback (explaining to students what they did well and what they can do differently the next time)
- Generalization (completing homework assignments to practice the skill in other situations and settings). Skillstreaming is organized to help students generalize social skills, or use the skills in real-life situations when and where they are needed.
The Student Workbooks and Leader’s Guide give educators, clinicians, and school counselors a step-by-step procedure for introducing and proceeding with the Skillstreaming program. The numerous activities provided in the Student Workbook assist students in not only learning the Skillstreaming process, but key social nuances that will help them be more successful in their skill use.
Group Leader’s Guide
The purpose of the leader’s guide is to provide clear guidance to practitioners who implement the Skillstreaming learning procedures, thus providing an easily imitated model for instruction. Activities for group leaders to use to enhance students’ skill performance are additionally provided throughout.
The student workbook is intended to orient students with autism to the Skillstreaming process. Students will be asked to share this workbook with you when sections of the book have been completed within the Skillstreaming group.
NOTE: It is essential for successful implementation of this curriculum to first have the program book (Skillstreaming Children and Youth with High-Functioning Autism: A Guide for Teaching Prosocial Skills) before attempting to utilize other Skillstreaming products.
Shown below is episode 23 of Prosocially Yours, a podcast produced by Research Press. In this episode, host Elizabeth Hess discusses the development of Skillstreaming Children and Youth with High-Functioning Autism with educator and best-selling author, Dr. Ellen McGinnis along with Dr. Jason C. Travers, co-author of the High-Functioning Autism Student Workbook who is an associate professor of special education and applied behavior analysis at Temple University where he coordinates the undergraduate and graduate degree programs in both areas of study.
“McGinnis and Simpson led the way for social skill intervention for individuals on the autism spectrum with the innovative program book The Skillstreaming: Children and Youth with High-Functioning Autism: A Guide to Teaching Prosocial Skills.
Research Press has just released the Student Workbook and the Student Workbook Group Leaders’ Guide that accompanies the program. This is exciting for the field of autism—practitioners who work daily with children and youth and students who struggle with excesses or deficits in social skills. The detail of lesson plans, scenarios and activities which these two supplemental books were designed will enhance the program effectiveness and certainly support practitioners’ abilities to implement lessons with high fidelity! This translates to improving the skills of their students/clients to achieve social success and all the benefits of full inclusion in their social world and the community in which they live.
As I reviewed these books the first thought I had was how helpful they would have been during my teaching years. As a teaching professor I know how important they will be for every teacher and related service provider whom I teach and mentor. Thank you to Dr. McGinnis for continuing the vision that you and Dr. Simpson shared. Also, a special appreciation to our colleagues Jason Travers and Stephen Crutchfield for stepping up to continue this critical work!”
-Deborah E. Griswold, PhD, assistant professor for practice in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas
“Social skills are essential to navigating the complexities of everyday routines, accessing important reinforcers, and developing meaningful and lasting relationships. Unfortunately, some of us have difficulties acquiring extensive and flexible social skills repertoires, especially given recent events that have impacted the way we interact with each other daily. In this important resource, McGinnis and colleagues provide guidance on teaching social skills in ways that are relevant, person-centered, and dignifying to autistic learners. This powerful tool, though directed to those serving autistic students, is broadly applicable and should be on the shelf of every classroom teacher.”
-Robert Pennington, Lake & Edward J. Snyder, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Special Education, Department of Special Education and Child Development, University of North Carolina Charlotte
“The Skillstreaming Group Leader’s Guide and Student Workbook are the perfect companions to the Skillstreaming learning procedures. These materials bridge the science-based information from Skillstreaming instruction so that students, teachers, and families can access and apply this quality social skill instruction in meaningful and effective ways. The authors combine sound research-based strategies with their direct knowledge of teaching students with high-functioning autism. The result is a set of tools that are relevant, engaging, and promote generalization and maintenance of skills over time. Well done!”
-Leah Wood, PhD / BCBA-D, Associate Professor / Cal Poly School of Education, Co-Coordinator / Special Education Masters and Credential Program, Co-PI of TIER / Teaching for Inclusivity and Equity Residency, President / Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities
“I have been a fan of the Skillstreaming series for years. When I was first starting out as a special education teacher, I found the series to be the best version of social skills programming for helping children understand the complex world of social development. After 20 years of using Skillstreaming with my students with autism and behavior disorders, I believed that I was an expert in my approach to using the curriculum. It became clear after reviewing the workbook and group leader’s guide that I was just scratching the surface. McGinnis, Travers, and Crutchfield created an incredibly powerful tool with this material. They showed me ways that I had never thought of using the curriculum and this has improved my ability to provide a richer and deeper understanding of social development for my students. This is an easy-to-use guide and a leap forward in enhancing the Skillstreaming curriculum. For anyone looking for a powerful social skills program for children with high functioning autism, they should look no further!”
-Matt McNiff, Ph.D., Behavior Consultant and Director of Special Education for Educational Service Unit #5