Social Skills

Virtual Learning Community in Autism: Social Skills

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Course Summary

This virtual learning community is designed to provide educators with a platform to learn and share skills, knowledge, and strategies related to teaching social skills to students with ASD in school, home, and community settings. Weekly sessions will alternate between live virtual meetings (Wednesdays 3:30-4:30pm, via Zoom video conference) and online activities and discussions (self-paced through the week via Blackboard). Topics discussed by the community will include components and barriers to implementing social skills training, social communication instruction and curricula, self-regulation resources, planning individualized instructional, and evaluating implementation. Participants are expected to participate each week, share resources and reflections, and evaluate their own implementation.

Social Skills VLCA Description

Social skills encompass a wide range of diverse skills that form one of the core, defining characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD). Unfortunately, for many students with autism, challenges in these areas severely limit opportunities in the classroom and in the community. This Virtual Learning Community in Autism is a collaborative forum for professionals supporting individuals with autism in social skills training (SST) and those who are interested in starting SST groups. Individuals participating in the VLCA will learn alongside others by reviewing content identified by the learning community leader, engaging in activities and discussion related to social skills, and sharing the outcomes of this work. Through ongoing sharing of experiences and collaboration, the entire community of learners will advance in both knowledge and skills.

Who should register to participate?

  • Those responsible for organizing social skills training programs, or those interested in starting a social skills training group in their division.
  • Those responsible for selecting social skills curricula and materials.
  • Those who deliver social skills instruction, in the classroom and/or community.
  • Division Leaders
  • Special Educators
  • Related Service Providers
  • Others wanting to know more

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify key concepts related to social skills and how they impact students with autism spectrum disorder
  • Identify components of social communication instruction, how to teach, and how to support generalization of skills in inclusive settings
  • Coach students how to use self-regulation strategies and tools through the school environment
  • Utilize the Moving Towards Social Competence inventory of social skills to identify areas of need for a student
  • Evaluate and implement various social skills instructional curricula and materials

Where and when will the participants meet?

Weekly sessions will alternate between live virtual meetings (Wednesdays 3:30-4:30pm, via Zoom video conference) and online activities and discussions (self-paced through the week via Blackboard). Participants are expected to participate each week, share resources and reflections, and evaluate their own implementation.

Can I earn recertification points for participation?

Points for educators working towards licensure renewal (recertification) may be awarded for completion of this activity. Each month, you should expect to participate in 10 hours of time to complete all of the activities. At the end of the three month period, the participant will have completed 30 contact hours. Certificates of completion will be sent to all individuals who successful complete these hours documenting participation and successful participation.

Is there a cost to participate?

There is no cost to participate for professionals and paraprofessionals in Virginia. At this time, we cannot accept registrations from individuals who do not work in the Commonwealth of Virginia's School Systems.

Who do I contact for more information?

Learning Community Leader: Josh Taylor
Email: jtaylor66@vcu.edu
Phone: (855) 711-6987 - Toll Free

Mailing address:

VCU-ACE
PO Box 842011
Richmond, VA 23284-2011