April is Autism Awareness Month and with a growing population of students on the spectrum, it is a perfect time to work on a social skill that may be difficult for our students.
Autism and Social Skills
Becoming Likeable is one of the workbooks in the Daily Living Skills series and discusses what makes people likeable and unlikeable. It then gives students ten keys to becoming likeable. The keys are created so that each skill can be learned—they take no special talent or inborn “likeability.”
But you can download the most obvious key—“Smile”—from this newsletter to help your students practice this key way to become likeable.
Did you know that humans are hard-wired to smile back at a smiling person? In fact, it only takes 4/100’s of a second to coax the other guy to smile back at you. Additionally, research tells us that if a person makes us smile we automatically feel good about that person. By learning to make people smile, students on the spectrum can take a giant step toward making themselves likeable.
Below is a brief instruction for a lesson assignment, and a free handout to download and pass on to your class!
Practice Social Skills
In this activity students practice smiling at themselves in the mirror then use that smile in five different situations until greeting others with a smile becomes second nature.
Have students complete the first two pages to understand the concepts and have them do #1 of the Simple Six to practice their smile in the mirror at home. Over the rest of the week, choose one of the Simple Six to practice smiling and have students record their efforts on the Simple Six Graph. Allow students to share the most interesting encounters they had with people while smiling.
For more Information
Like all books in the series, this lesson is written on a 3rd/4th grade level with lots of bullet-point information and airy pages, yet it still honors a teen’s maturity and sensibilities while meeting Indicator 13 goals and federal mandates for transition skills. To learn more, get additional free materials, or to purchase this book, go to Susan’s Teachers Pay Teachers store.