Children and young people with diagnoses such as high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, PDD-NOS or non-verbal learning disabilities often have difficulty with "social-cognition" -communicating effectively and solving personal problems. For such students, these are skills that cannot just be absorbed from experience but need to be taught. In this manual, Michelle Garcia Winner offers teaching techniques to help students identify and overcome their weaknesses, leading to the acquisition of skills such as initiating conversations or activities; listening and attending; understanding abstract language; taking others' perspectives; seeing the big picture; and using humour. She demonstrates how to break down these skills into manageable concepts and suggests methods of teaching them so that the student can truly understand not just what to do but also why. The volume contains many photocopiable worksheets for teachers' use, and should be useful to educators and therapists working with young people with social-cognitive deficits.
Teaching large abstract concepts through smaller concrete pieces - the "I Laugh" approach; why care? An attempt to answer a common question; initiation - let's get started!; listening and attention - through our eyes and ears; abstract and inferential thinking... I mean what I say but don't say what I mean!; understanding perspective talking - thinking about others and how they think about you!; getting the big picture -Gestalt processing; humour - this is all too serious to be taken too seriously; thoughts on reading comprehension; thoughts on observing a student's social skills and social relatedness; teaching so our teaching sticks! Summary of ten considerations for applying concepts related to social-cognition into our therapeutic group work.