Navigating the Social Highway: A Road Map of Social Skills Programming for ASD
Wendy Clayton, M.Ed., Newport News Public Schools
Teresa Crowson, OTR/L, MAEd., Newport News Public Schools
Within the text of the Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder in the DSM-5, the word “social” appears TEN times; indicating that social skills are, inherently, a significant area of need for students with ASD. Learning to navigate social situations not only helps them understand their world, but also impacts a student’s ability to gain benefit from academics. Our students, more often than not, find themselves alone during recess and lunch times, verbally interact less with peers, have fewer opportunities to relate to peers throughout the day, and have difficulty assigning meaning to academic tasks. These factors substantiate the paramount importance of social skills instruction with our students. This webinar will highlight the journey of one public school division while guiding participants through the steps necessary to begin social skills programming within their division, school, or classroom. Topics will include determining the appropriate instruments for data collection, curricular resources, and professional development interventions in order to arrive at desired outcomes for social skills instruction.
Wendy Clayton, M.Ed. is the Autism Specialist for Newport News Public Schools. Wendy received a dual Master’s Degree in Special Education in Learning Disabilities and Emotional Disturbance, as well as a Supervisory endorsement from the College of William and Mary. Wendy has been a special education teacher in the area of ID in a private separate school in Hampton for three years and in the areas of LD, ED, ID, and an Occupational/Physical Therapy Coordinator with NNPS for 30 years.
Teresa Crowson, OTR/L, MAEd. is an ASD Programming Support Coach and Occupational Therapist for Newport News Public Schools. She received her B.S. Degree in Occupational Therapy from East Carolina University and her M.A. in Education with a Concentration in Educational Leadership from Touro University. She has been a pediatric OT for 21 years; working 19 of those years within a public school setting. In her current role with NNPS, Teresa provides support to teachers of students with autism, through the coaching model, to meet the educational and behavioral needs of students using evidence based practices.