Social Skills

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulties with social interactions.

Teaching Strategies

• Directly teach lessons to the whole class on specific social skills.
• Determine the student’s baseline of current functioning and next steps in social skill development (see the list of social skills below).
• Develop an alternative programming goal for the student on an attainable social skill improvement.
• Use media/literature examples to highlight pro-social skills and positive choices made by the characters.
• Develop “how to” charts on various social skills of need.
• Use positive reinforcement for improvements.


• Use preferential seating to place student near others who would foster positive interactions, and close to the teacher for coaching.
• Post rules and consequences.
• Post social skills visuals/charts with strategies.
• Provide activities for unstructured times (ball, game, etc.).


• For group projects/presentations, provide structure, chunk requirements and provide frequent feedback.
• Assess the student in an area of strength (oral, written, with computer, etc.).


Understanding social skills problems in the exceptional student and the role of parents as well as the effectiveness of training. From The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

For Purchase

DVDs outlining various social skills for various ages of students.

Strategies for various student needs.

For the development of customized social stories.

Resources outlining various social skills steps and how to teach them to different ages of students.

For the development of social skills.