I am a speech and language pathologist working with students with social language and pragmatic challenges. This group of students, all of whom have great qualities and are highly intelligent, struggle with peers and social language. They have difficulty initiating or responding to simple greetings, such as good morning or hello. Most of these students are students with autism or social language deficits. They are such hard workers seeking acceptance and success at school. Many of these students avoid extra curricular activities due to conflicts with peers and difficulty solving problems, therefore they are in need of authentic social scenarios with adult guidance in a safe environment to be successful and learn to navigate the complexities of relationships with others.
The cups, lids, and drinks will supply the first-ever student run ‘beverage cart.’ Students with autism and other social language difficulties will engage with adults and students all over the building, taking orders and fulfilling deliveries of iced coffee, tea, and lemonade. They will have authentic opportunities to practice their social goals, such as initiate greetings, ask questions, engage in reciprocal conversation, solve problems among peers during disagreements, etc. These students deserve to feel successful at school, and this will do just that! They will learn life skills, such as organizing, planning, and problem solving all while cooperating with peers and socializing around a safe environment.
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