These books are perfect for helping young learners strengthen their communications skills!
We’ve got all the tools you need to teach and develop students’ logical thinking and problem solving skills in the classroom or at home.
This week only, save 20% on your purchase of these select inferencing tools by using promo code INFER2017 at checkout!
Teaching language skills is one of the most frequent needs for children with autism, but also one of the most misunderstood skillsets amongst both parents and practitioners. The desire to hear your learner speak in full sentences can be overwhelming, making it especially difficult to take a step back and consider what it means to communicate and how communication skills develop in neurotypical children. Many times we get hung up on what a child should be capable of communicating at a certain age, rather than focusing on what they are capable of communicating at this stage of development.
Many practitioners and curricula utilize Brown’s Stages of Language Development.* Brown described the first five stages of language development in terms of the child’s “mean length of utterance” (or MLU) as well as the structure of their utterances.
Sometimes it is necessary to compare a child to his or her same-age peers in order to receive services or measure progress, but it can be detrimental to focus on what a child should be doing at a specific age instead of supporting them and reinforcing them for progress within their current stage.
Research has suggested that teaching beyond the child’s current stage results in errors, lack of comprehension, and difficulty with retention. Here are some common errors you may have witnessed:
These are only a few of the common language errors you may see. While you may want your learner to speak in longer sentences, your goal should be to have them communicate effectively. With this goal in mind, it becomes essential to support them at their current stage, which means it’s essential to assess them and understand how to help them make progress.
This is why I always use the VB-MAPP to assess each child and make decisions about language instruction. I need to have a full understanding of how the learner is using language, and then move them through each stage in a clear progression. I may want the child to say “Hello, how are you today?” But when I teach them that, do they understand those individual words? Do they comprehend what today means as opposed to yesterday or tomorrow? Do they generalize the use of “how” to other questions?
As you make treatment decisions for your learner, think about their current stage and talk about how to support your child with both a Speech Language Pathologist and an ABA therapist.
*Brown, R. (1973). A first language: The early stages. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
This week, we’re pleased to share a piece from Kirt Manecke, author of one of our newest additions Smile & Succeed for Teens, who offers his advice and take on how to teach teens and tweens very important social skills such as handshaking and saying “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.”
Please, Thank You, and You’re Welcome:
Teaching Social Skills to Teens on the Spectrum
by Kirt Manecke
Saying “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome” are extremely important for social and job interactions. Why then is it so rare to hear these words spoken by teens and tweens? I recently had breakfast with my friend and his two kids, who are 12 and 16, at a restaurant. Both kids frequently failed to say please, thank you or you’re welcome to the waitress. I found myself saying thank you to the waitress for them! Their father did not seem to notice their lack of manners.
Research from Harvard University (Deming, 2015) says social skills are the top factor for getting a job. In my former life, when hiring teens for my specialty retail business, I looked for friendly teens with good social skills. Teens who smiled and said “please” and “thank you” were often the ones I hired. I knew they could engage customers and keep them happy and coming back. Often, we are drawn to making friends with people who have these same good social skills.
Social skills are especially difficult for teens on the autism spectrum, but many of these skills can be learned, and with practice, can become habit. Social skills are critical to make friends, get a job, and to live a fulfilling life.
Recently I helped some teens and tweens with autism prepare to sell products at a local farmers’ market. I acted as the customer in the initial role playing scenarios and found that the kids did not say “please”, “thank you” or “you’re welcome”. I then used information from my book Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World to teach them these skills. We took turns being the customer and the employee while role-playing how to say “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome”. Using their new social skills, the kids were able to sell chips and salsa at the local farmers’ market the next day.
You can do the same type of role playing with your kids. To improve their social skills, role play the skill with them. For example, have your teen or tween read the section, “Shake Hands Firmly.” Then, practice shaking hands with them, being sure to show them how “Too Tight”, “Too Loose” and “Just Right” feels.
I spent nine months meeting with teens to get their input for the book, and that’s a big reason teens and tweens find it appealing and are reading it. The font is large enough to make reading easy, plus there are fun, informative illustrations with educational captions every few pages.
Since, the book has received praise from teachers and school administrators, as well as Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures, and The Autistic Brain, who called me one evening after reading Smile & Succeed for Teens. She urged me to use her testimonial, “Smile & Succeed for Teens is a fantastic resource to help teens be successful at work”, to get the book out to all teens and tweens.
A firm grasp on social skills is key to maneuvering through all stages of life. Mastering these skills boosts teens’ confidence and gives them the skills they need to succeed in school, work and relationships. Please share the following book excerpt with your teen or tween to give them a head start in mastering these important social skills.
Deming, D.J. (2015). The growing importance of social skills in the labor market (Working Paper No. 21473). Retrieved from National Bureau of Economic Research website: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21473.
Kirt Manecke is a an award-winning author and sales, marketing, fundraising, and business development specialist with over 30 years of experience surprising and delighting customers. Kirt’s books have won 11 awards. Quick-easy social skills for teens! He spent nine months meeting with teens for his award-winning book on social skills for teens. Kirt is currently at work on two children’s books. For more information, contact Kirt at Kirtm@SmiletheBook.com.
We’ve added a bunch of new Super Duper® flashcards and fun decks to our collection! This week, you can save 15% on any of these select card decks that teach parts of speech and vocabulary — everything from nouns and irregular verbs to prepositions and synonyms! Use our promo code SUPERJUNE to redeem your savings at check-out.
With the Webber BIG Vocabulary Nouns Photo Cards, students will learn how to name, describe, identify attributes, compare and contrast, and formulate sentences in conversation with 600 vivid photo cards. This enormous set contains 5″ x 7″ photo cards that cover 14 different categories: Alphabet (26 cards); Animals (68 cards); Around the Home (80 cards); Clothing and Accessories (55 cards); Colors (12 cards); Food (83 cards); Numbers (11 cards); Occupations (46 cards); Places (70 cards); Plants (20 cards); School (38 cards); Shapes (7 cards); Toys (36 cards); Transportation (34 cards).
Synonyms Photo Fun Deck contains 28 pairs of photo cards to teach synonyms. Each pair of photo cards helps illustrate one sentence using two synonyms. This set also comes with game ideas for extra practice!
Each of the cards measures 2½” x 3½” and all come stored in a sturdy storage tin.
Irregular Verbs Fun Deck is a wonderful resource for teaching past and present tense for 26 irregular verbs pairs. Students will learn the ins and outs of “eat/ate,” “buy/bought,” “spend/spent,” and so much more. This illustrated fun deck will make teaching these difficult verbs fun and accessible for learners of all ages!
*Promotion is valid through June 28, 2016 at 11:59pm ET. Offer cannot be applied to previous purchases, combined with anyother offers, transferred, refunded, or redeemed and/or exchanged for cash or credit. Different Roads to Learning reserves the right to change or cancel this promotion at any time. To redeem offer at differentroads.com, enter promo code SUPERJUNE at checkout.
We’re celebrating Better Speech & Hearing Month with a special focus on auditory processing and expressive language skills. Today through the end of May, use our promo code SPCHLANG when you check out to take 15%* off some of our favorite speech and language workbooks!
These workbooks provide a wealth of activities that you can start using with your students immediately. Clearly organized and easy to use, each book is perfect for teachers.
Teach language and conversation skills to students with autism with these great books! This week, take 15% off any or all 3 of these great teacher guides and student workbooks. Use promo code LANGUAGE at check-out to redeem your savings.
Teaching Kids of All Ages to Ask Questions is a great source for teaching students at different levels how to ask and answer questions. The book also covers:
This workbook is great for a comprehensive coverage of Wh-Questions within various contexts.
Teaching Conversation to Children with Autism Scripts and Script Fading provides step-by-step instructions to parents and teachers on how to teach conversation skills. Because many individuals with autism have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation, this book describes how scripts and script fading can provide a predictable and meaningful structure for these individuals to engage in conversation. The goal is for these scripts to then progress to spontaneous language. This book covers: scripts for readers and non-readers; conversation activities; activity schedules; prompts and rewards; and observing, evaluating and measuring results.
Teach Me Language is a social language manual for children with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and related developmental disorders. Based on professional speech pathology methods, this book targets social language, general knowledge, grammar and syntax, functional knowledge, written expression and language-based academic concepts. Teach Me Language is designed to take the child from one and two word utterances to more complex sentences that lay the foundation for social conversation.
Don’t forget to use our promotional code LANGUAGE at check-out this week to save 15%* on any or all of these books for teaching language & conversation!
*Offer is valid through March 22, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code LANGUAGE at check-out! Call (800) 853-1057 with any inquiries.
Emotions language cards are great tools for teaching language and facial expressions in a variety of contexts to young learners. Promote discussion about a range of emotions, why people may feel a certain way, and possible responses to these feelings with our collection of emotions flash cards.
This week, you can also save 15% on any of these Emotions flashcards sets. Just enter our promo code EMOTIONS when you check out online.
>>> View our entire sale here. <<<
*Offer is valid for one-time use through February 2, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. Promotion does not apply to past purchases. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code EMOTIONS at check-out. Call our friendly customer service team at (800) 853-1057 with any inquiries.
Teach inferencing and problem-solving skills to young learners with this comprehensive workbook by Marilyn M. Toomey! Our ability to infer or to draw conclusions given partial information is a cornerstone of our reasoning process. Guessing, implying, hinting, suggesting, supposing and reasoning are just a few of the mental processes in which we draw inference. Throughout Introducing Inference, students are encouraged not only to draw conclusions using inference, but to explain how they solved the problem at hand. The aim is to teach students that using inference in their reasoning process is using their best judgment.
The book starts out with pictures of objects, each with an obvious part missing and moves to sequenced events, with a part of the sequence missing. Finally, questions requiring answers that tell what is missing complete the path to learning this basic skill. For example, an image of bike with a missing wheel is accompanied by: “A bicycle is supposed to have two ____, but this bicycle has only one. One ____ is missing.”
Introducing Inference covers topics in:
Use our promotional code INFER15 at check-out this week to take 15% off* your copy of the Introducing Inference workbook!
*Offer expires on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 11:59pm EST. Promotion does not apply to past purchases. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code INFER15 at check-out! Call our friendly customer service team at (800) 853-1057 with any inquiries.