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Running head: ASPERGERS: DEVELOPING THE PROPER SOCIAL SKILLS 1 Developing a Person-Centered Plan for Asperger’s Syndrome Kaitlyn Derrick St. Bonaventure University ASPERGERS: DEVELOPING THE PROPER SOCIAL SKILLS 2 Introduction The general process for creating a person-centered plan takes time and dedication. It is important for the person w
  Running head: ASPERGERS: DEVELOPING THE PROPER SOCIAL SKILLS 1 Developing a Person-Centered Plan for Asperger  ’s  Syndrome Kaitlyn Derrick St. Bonaventure University  ASPERGERS: DEVELOPING THE PROPER SOCIAL SKILLS 2 Introduction The general process for creating a person-centered plan takes time and dedication. It is important for the person who is creating the plan to form a relationship with the individual. The  person creating the plan should have an idea of what is in the student’s best in terest. The person creating the plan should ask “What does the student want for themselves?” When thinking about the assignment, I took my time to think about who would really benefit from having a plan set in  place. Therefore, I will be creating a person-centered plan for my cousin who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.  For this person-centered plan, I chose to work with a student who can be referred to as Sully. Sully is a happy, smart, and caring boy who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 3 rd  grade. Currently, Sully attends 6 th  grade in a general education classroom in a rural school district. Rao, Beidel, and Murray (2008), states that attending a general education class, those with Asperger Syndrome are more exposed to different social experiences. Sully demonstrates good academic skills when proper resources are provided, such as visual aids and computer time. According to Bullard (2004), when posting visual representations and schedules in the classroom the children tend to transition easier, causing less behaviors to occur. Knowing the constant daily classroom routine helps Sully stay focused throughout the school day. Sully is really good with numbers and does very well in mathematics class. Personally, I have known Sully all his life (12 years), but recently I started to spend more time with Sully. Sully and I have worked on basic social interaction skills. For example, we have worked on how to properly introduce yourself to new people he has not met before (by attending summer rec). Sully lives with his father, brother, step-mom, and step-brother  . Sully’s family is involved in Sully’s life and want t o help Sully achieve his goals. Sully really enjoys making toy  ASPERGERS: DEVELOPING THE PROPER SOCIAL SKILLS 3 model cars. Sully has shelves full of all different types of model cars that he has made. Sully can tell you all about the different models and fun facts to go with each car. Sully recently started to show an interest in swimming. In addition, like any teen boy, Sully really enjoys playing video games, dinosaurs, and surfing the YouTube channel. The overall goal of this person-centered plan is to help Sully work on increasing his general social skills. In research done by Bock (2007), those who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to be incapable to engage in age -expected interactions and have challenges with understanding the proper social skills that are related with social interactions. Sully will work on his social skills to help him feel more confident and comfortable when expressing and advocating for himself. Knowing and understanding the proper ways to communicate with others may eliminate behaviors that could occur during school. When unsure of something, Sully will work toward communicating and asking clarification questions. Sully will work on his social skills to help him succeed in the future. Literature Review  Engaging with individuals daily has a major impact on a person’ s life both inside and outside the classroom. For upper elementary students, being able to effectively communicate with both peers and teachers is important. In order to be successful in high grade levels and in the future, students need to develop strong social skills. Expressed by Davis, Boon, Cihak, and Fore (2010), the older children become, the social atmosphere tends to get more complicated for individuals to comprehend themselves, others, and social surroundings also increase. For students with Asperger Syndrome, this social interaction is known to be more difficult. According to Davis et al. (2010), Asperger Syndrome can be describe as a higher function form of autism where individuals tend to have trouble with achieving social success despite their  ASPERGERS: DEVELOPING THE PROPER SOCIAL SKILLS 4 normal levels of language and academic intelligence. In order for students to achieve social success, students with Asperger Syndrome need to increase their social skills. Rao et al. (2008) defines social skills as precise behaviors that produce positive social success, which includes verbal and non-verbal cues needed for proper communication. Some given examples are making eye contact when communicating with others, provide proper responses to asked questions, and expressing appropriate emotional feelings. In the process of working with Sully, we discussed his weaknesses and goals for achievement. Going forward I used the gathered information to research methods to help him reach his goals. The majority of the research conducted was on ways to help teach Sully the  proper social skills to help improve the amount of social interaction he experiences. Much of the research indicated that students with Asperger Syndrome benefit from learning about social interactions through the use of multiple strategies. Since not every case of Asperger Syndrome is the same, meeting the needs of each individual student is critical. Based on the research of Roa et al. (2007) a training program needs to be made specifically to the student. Therefore, multiple strategies will be more beneficial because not all strategies work for each individual student. Getting involved in extracurricular activities is a great way to get to know more peers. For individuals who have Asperger’s making new friend s can be more of a challenge. One  possible activity for helping students with Asperger Syndrome learn social skills is through the use of LEGO therapy. As described by Owens, Granader, Humphrey, and Baron-Cohen (2008), LEGO therapy uses an activity that interests the child to create a structured environment for the student to practice their social skills. The student with Asperger Syndrome will work with a group of few peers to complete a LEGO set under adult supervision/direction. Each member of the group will be assigned a different job that is required to complete the set. This scenario
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