Sunday, February 26, 2012

Social Communication

During one of the app giveaways on SRN, I asked you what you wanted to see more of. One of your overwhelming responses was social communication activities. 

I wanted to share a few resources today. The first is a blog written by Jill Kuzma. Pop on over and check it out HERE.

Jill covers a variety of social language topics. I especially like using the youtube videos sections.

Another resource you might want to check out is an app created by the ladies over at All4MyChild. Their blog was also named a finalist for the EduBlog awards in the same category as SpeechRoomNews!  They provided me with a code for their app Social Adventures  to test out and review for you.

Information from their website:

  • Social Adventures is an eResource for teachers, therapists, and parents conveniently produced as an iPhone and iPad app to be taken with you everywhere you go! And…because it’s an app, new activities, games and links will be added regularly through updates
  • Designed by SLPs and OTs who treat and understand the importance of physical activity, body-space awareness, and self-regulation in effective social interactions among young children.
  • This comprehensive program was designed to address 7 key areas of social interaction created for use with young children, ages 4 to 9.
  • IMAGINE is an acronym for the 7 key areas addressed: Initiating interactions,Maintaining interactions, Advocating and compromising, Getting regulated,Interpreting non-verbals, Negotiating space, and Experiencing humor.
  • The app is a “cook book” of 44+ activities. Just click on the social skill you want to address and a list of easy-to-use games and activities emerge with specific directions, parent tips, and apps that can be used to promote that skill area.
  • A Sample 8-week program is included within the app to help you get started with your program.
  • Visual supports and social catch phrases are also included.  These stick with children and are easy to use anywhere – on the playground, in the car, waiting at restaurants, on play dates, etc.
  • The BAG GAME is an interactive game that is also included in the app. And… is now available as a separate app at the Bag Game - all4mychild. This game is for 2 or more players and promotes question asking, listening, maintaining interactions and theory of mind.
You would use this app like a social program. It's meant to be used as a resource for SLP's, not an app that the students directly use. For example, one of my social groups is working on initiating conversations. I opened the "Initiating Interaction" tab on my Social Adventures app. 

I decided to use the "Start with a Question" lesson. I created a visual using the white board. My students added each type of WH questions starter. We rolled dice to see which question word to use. Students took turns initiating a conversation with a peer  using that type of question.

The program also has an 8 week suggested program. It might be a good starting place if you're running social group. For my students, it works better to look through the ideas and target just certain skills. 

One other app I want to highlight is free from the American Psychological Association. You can check it out HERE

It's a great little story about how a bad mood impacts everyone in the family. This cute story uses rhymes and cute pictures to help kids see how they can turn their grouchy mood into a good one! 

Those are just a few social language ideas. I use several of Michelle Garcia Winner's programs as well, so make sure you check them out if you aren't familiar with the Social Thinking program!