Q's class: EXAMPLE of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) teaching vs behavior mod


New Member
Several of us talk about this and I thought I'd share the new agenda of the social skills class Q is in on Saturdays. This center is specifically designed for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but in truth there are kids there who need social skills training for whatever reason. The teachers are Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) specialists and the aides are specially trained as well. They will not hire teachers with EBD certification if they have no Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) specialty training or experience.

There are many methods, just sharing this one that Q has been in since last summer. I have to brag...his marks (weekly sheets for the class and the outings) have gone up amazingly. Every time we find a place that uses these kinds of methods my view is reinforced that this matches his learning style. Nothing else works as well for him.

The title of this season's class is
Slick Self-Control 1

"Slick Self-Control1" focuses on dealing with disappointments, unexpected events and changes, and unfortunate "losses of the coin". Participants will develop and practice skills for responding to and engaging successfully in a wide variety of situations that require physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, verbal and non-verbal self control. In addition to increasing their skills for self control, participants will increase their self-awareness and understanding, social understanding (cognition) cognitive flexibility, perspective-taking, and social, emotional and behavioral understanding and skills.

Slick self-Control 1 goals:
* participants will increase their ability to identify situations and times when they will most likely need to use self-control
*Participants will increase their skills for determining when the intent of teasing is friendly or mean, for maintaining self-control when being teased, for responding to, dealing with, and self-advocating with teasing that is both mean and friendly in intent, and for engaging in friendly teasing.
*Participants will increase their self-control with handling their own and others' possessions and property and their awareness and skills related to asking permission to use another's belongings.
*Participants will increase their strength and ability for accepting their own mistakes and imperfections as well as for admitting their own mistakes to others, asking for help, trying again...and again..., apologizing, and or accepting the consequences for their behaviors.
*participants will increase their skills for maintaining self control and responding appropriately when they are blamed for doing something that they have done and for doing something that they have not done
*Participants will identify the components of "Anger Mountain" and identify ways to manage feelings on the way up and down the mountain, as well as ways to turn around instead of going to the top of Anger Mountain.

....anyway these are just some of the goals.

Week by week specific goals are tackled along with the general skills they always work on.

They do one hour of class then go on an outing to work on these things in public/real life situations.

here is one week example:

Lesson Objectives
*Understand that everyone experiences a variety of feelings each day
*Learn that everyone can feel more than one feeling at a time
*Learn the difference between feelings that are "easy" to feel and feelings that are "difficult" to feel.

While doing this they are also working on life skills that stay the same across sessions like
*talking the right amount of time and knowing when to participate
*using appropriate responses to questions and statements made by peers in the class
*using appropriate non-verbal body language during discussion time and interactions with others
*using appropriate tone of voice
*using safe actions and making safe decisions......

etc.... They get scored on these weekly and Quin's scores have consistently gone up. Really nice.

The kids are from 16-25 in this group. I have thought some of the participants were actually working there. There are some really high functioning Aspies in the group which is such a good role model. One guy last session told me he really thought Q was doing well. I thought he was staff! He said he knows he doesn't have many friends so tries to be his friend here. How sweet is that?

Anyway, I know it is kind of vague when we say "using Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) approaches" and this is one example of what I mean when I say that. It is much more of a teaching method than a reinfocement/consequence method.
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CD Hall of Fame
WOW! It is awesome you have that resource. Wish we had something like that, but then again, I wish we had autism specialists here in general. Good for Q with his continued progress. That is wonderful. Celebrate the good things.

It IS so nice to be validated. I'm finding that myself with the school issue. I just wish it were easy, or even doable, to get people to believe us without having to prove it first. That is what's so frustrating.

You should be proud of the progress he's made overall, not just with this class. You should be proud of YOURSELF!!


Well-Known Member
Very nice! Great program, easy to understand, and great that Q is doing so well.
Sheesh, you've had your ups and downs with-schools. I'm glad that this skills class on Saturdays is working out.


New Member
Susie, this is not school. They consult with some schools. But it's a private social skills development center for kids and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) . They do overnights, classes, events etc. It's very expensive unfortunately. But they have connections for funding and Q's waiver is paying for it.
I wish I knew about it ten years ago.


Well-Known Member
What a HUGE difference this class could, and likely does, make in future life. I can't tell you how happy I am that you have found this resource and that Q is taking to it like a duck to water. You've found a winner. congrats! DDD