How to Teach Social Language Part 1 – Turn-taking

Teaching social language is paramount, as pointed out by Dr Freeman, author of Teach Me Language, a language manual for children with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and related developmental disorders. Eventually, we are hoping, through the intervention, the child is able to understand, internalize, and recall basic information which will effectively assist them to hold conversations with others.

This is a series of activities that I will be adding along the way once my child has master the the concept (objective/s) of the lesson.

Pre-requisites

Before a child can begin to be taught social language, they should have a ‘small receptive and or expressive vocabulary’ (p.6, 1997).

This means the child should

  • be a visual learner
  • be able to sit at a desk for at least five minutes
  • be able to answer questions with one word responses or point to the picture symbol to answer a question.
  • know a few (5 to 10) animals, basic shapes, and basic colours.
  • know the numbers 1 to 10, and recognise the alphabet.
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Taking turns

Before learning can take place, turn taking is an important skill that the child needs to master before the trainer can work on more advanced conversational skills. The following activity seeks to achieve this goal.

Objective:

  • Child to learn play related skills ‘Taking turns’
Where I got the idea from
The Social Skills Picture Book by Jed Barker

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C has read this page multiple times.
If your child is able to read, read the page with them. Do point out what is the right and wrong way to behave when playing with others.

Materials needed:

  • Blank writing book
  • Pegs and pegs board

Lesson time:

  1. Instructed C that we will place all the pegs on the board.
  2. Wrote ‘Let’s take turns’ on the writing book.
  3. Explained to C that we need to learn to take turns when we are playing so that we can all play together with our friends (Note: used the same concept from Barker’s book)
  4. Wrote the key words on what we are going to do, ‘to keep’ and ‘we’ll close the egg’
  5. “C’s turn, take two pegs and keep it in the egg.”
  6. “Mummy’s turn, mummy will take three pegs and keep it in the egg.”
  7. Repeat the verbal cues and actions by changing the number of pegs (bold words)
  8. When done, close the egg.

Hi-five

Let's take turns
For the third day, I varied the task by getting C to ask me for the number of pegs. I did the same by asking him for the number of coloured-pegs too. (as shown on the right page of the image )

For the second and third day, I varied the task by getting C to ask me for the specific number of coloured-pegs. I did the same (as shown in the page on the right) by asking him for it too.

Other social language related activities that we have done:

How to Teach Social Language Part 2-“It’s a…”, “This is a…”, “I have a…”

How to Teach Social Language Part 3 -Increasing General Knowledge #1

How to Teach Social Language Part 3 -Increasing General Knowledge #2 ‘Fill-in-the-blanks’ & Teaching Calendar

How to Teach Social Language Part 3 – Increasing General Knowledge #3 using listening

How to Teach Social Language Part 4 – Sequencing ‘Before and After’

How to Teach Social Language Part 5 – Use Listening to Teach Sequence

How to Teach Social Language Part 6 – Simple Word Association

How to Teach Social Language Part 7 – Finding out about someone #1

How to Teach Social Language Part 8 – Finding out about someone #2

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