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





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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.

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