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The REACH Program is an ungraded special education program for students with autism spectrum disorder from ages 5 to 21. This “Social Skills Training Program” has been developed to increase the development of social skills for the elementary REACH students in order to provide them with the necessary foundational skills for social success. While the curriculum was designed to target students at the elementary level of the REACH Program, repetition, review, and practice will be appropriate at the middle and high school levels. Learning of appropriate social skills at younger ages will enhance independence in future years for success in the community and in vocational settings. Systematic teaching of appropriate social skills is essential for students with autism spectrum disorder. This “Social Skills Training Program” utilizes principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, Discrete Trial Teaching, and simulated learning experiences for maintenance and generalization of skills. Each targeted skill has been identified as a necessary social skill for optimal success in both school and community settings. The selected target skills include: emotion identification, coping with frustration/anger, conversation skills, telephone skills, playing a turn-taking game, playing a simple sport, dealing with strangers, birthday party etiquette, restaurant etiquette, and movie etiquette. This curriculum has been designed to be implemented by teachers, speech and language pathologists, and teacher’s aides that have been trained in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and Discrete Trial Teaching. This social skills curriculum has been linked to the Core Common Standards to promote engagement and independence for students.
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