Relevant, respectful and responsive: a non-manualized approached to teaching social skills to 18 to 21-year-old transition program students with Asperger syndrome based on a blending of evidence-based practices and mixed media materials as cultural artifacts
The research question addressed was, how can someone effectively teach social skills to young adult transition program students with Asperger syndrome (AS) in a way that is culturally relevant, responsive, and respectful, while not being bound to any single curriculum? The capstone's motivation is the author's upcoming assignment to run a daily social skills group for 18 to 21-year-olds with AS who will attend her program in the upcoming year. While this author has both personal and professional experience in socially coaching individuals on the spectrum in a one-to-one fashion, along with prior experience in social skills instruction of classically autistic students, teaching social skills to this particular population will be a new endeavor. Following extensive research on the support needs of these students, she developed a flexible framework reliant on evidence-based practices in ASD (Winner, Buron & Curtis, Bellini, Coucouvanis) in combination with mixed media materials as cultural artifacts.