Children on the autism spectrum often experience difficulty generalizing social skills across environments and contexts, which can make developing friendships challenging in early childhood. This means that, in addition to initial social skills instruction, children with autism may need specialized supports to promote the generalization of newly learned skills to natural inclusive play routines such as unstructured social centers and playdates. In this paper, we describe strategies teachers can employ to promote the generalization of newly learned social skills. Specifically, we describe how social narratives, visual supports, and environmental arrangement, prompting, and praise can be used during social centers and playdates to facilitate setting generalization. When teachers systematically support generalized social skills and behaviors, children will have more opportunities to develop meaningful friendships.
Promoting Generalization of Social Skills to Inclusive Play Settings for Children With Autism and Their Peers
TEACHING Exceptional Children