This article, Friend to Friend: Students Help Their Special Ed Peers Learn to Fit In, highlights a wonderful program at a high school in Illinois that teaches basic social skills through modeling and group work. Students are shown how to give a high-five, say hello in the hallway and give a hug to a friend by their peers. Peer groups such as these can be fortified and supplmented with quality materials at home and during other parts of the school day. The Fitting In and Having Fun DVD Series uses peer modeling to show appropriate/inappropritate behavior at both the elementary and middle school level. The School Rules! Series is an interactive CD that teaches students about behavior in the classroom as well as what happens during unstructured times such as in the hallway and lunchtime. The video sequences on the CDs can be tailored for each individual child’s skill level and ability. Finally, there’s the Know the Code at School series that uses flashcards and video modeling to address everything from classroom behavior, peer relationships, transitions and commom etiquette.
Peer social skills groups are ideal and there are myriad ways to reinforce and generalize the skills addressed during group time at home.