Rebuilding Social Skills

Due to the pandemic, there has been limited in-person interactions. While interactions via Zoom have been helpful to continue working on social skills, it can still be hard to work on some areas of verbal and non-verbal communication. In the article, “Approaches for Helping Students Recoup Social Communication Skills”, Diana Paul discusses different ways to help rebuild social communication skills which may have regressed due to the pandemic. Some recommendations to help rebuild these skills are as follows: 
Get communication partners involved: Peers, Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers. This allows a student to learn how to adapt their communication skills with a variety of communication partners in different environments. Additionally, having the communication partners ask a variety of questions (not just single word response questions) to help students learn to use their language in different ways. Another focus can be on learning non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language, to help a student read the situation and know the best way to respond.  
Guide students in meaningful conversations: Using a list of topics of interest, practice conversation skills such as, topic maintenance, conversational turn taking, asking/answering questions, and using non-verbal cues. The use of role playing, social stories, and video modeling can help aid in these area of development. 
Help students tell personal narratives and stories: Work on telling/sequencing events from a students day using templates. 
Paul, D. (2021, April 21 ). Approaches for Helping Students Recoup Social Communication Skills [Editorial]. The ASHA Leader. Retrieved 2021, from

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