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Difficulty with social skills is often a significant challenge for those on the autism spectrum. These challenges lead to difficulty communicating with others and with making and keeping friends. Social skills groups (SSGs) are used to teach individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) ways to appropriately interact with typically developing peers. A wide range of social skills may be taught through SSGs. In this module, step-by step instructions consisting of ten steps are provided to help teachers/practitioners use existing resources to implement social skills group instruction that is based on informal needs assessment and data collection for identified goals.    


Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

  • What's Included
  • 29 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $15 certficate
  1. Identify characteristics of social skills training groups with learners with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  2. Describe the guidelines for selecting and implementing Social Skills Groups (SSG)
  3. Describe challenges involved in the selection and use of SSG and how such challenges can be addressed in practice
  4. Identify key resources for implementing SSG

Module Authors

Lana Collet-Klingenberg, Ph.D.

L. Collet-Klingenberg earned her Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. Her professional experiences include teaching individuals with a wide range of abilities in school and community settings. Lana's graduate studies focused on communication and social skills and the transition from school to adult life for young adults. Since 1998, she has been involved in pre-service teacher education at both UW-Whitewater and UW-Madison, as well as having worked on a number of federal and state grant initiatives focused on non-verbal communication, improving transition services, and creating authentic schools for all learners.

Kate Szidon, M.S.

Kate Szidon earned her M.S. in Special Education at the University of Oregon through a specialized training program in Transition. Kate joined University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center in the summer of 2009.  She works on grant funded projects supporting special education professionals and families raising children with autism spectrum disorders. Prior to this, Kate taught special education for fourteen years providing district-wide technical assistance and support, and teaching special education in a variety of settings and roles including high school transition coordinator, autism teacher, and reading and math support teacher for all levels of school-age students.

Module Contributors

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education from 2007-2014. The work of the NPDC was a collaboration among three universities-the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis. The goal of the NPDC was to promote the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children and youth with ASD, birth to 22 years of age.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was developed by The National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders

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