I need to go to the Social Thinking Conference which provides training to help students with autism learn about social thinking concepts, vocabulary, self regulation, and social communication concepts through hands on activities.
School speech pathologists have workloads that are higher than ever. School speech pathologist are split between two schools typically. I have a case load of 82 students. Forty one students on my case load have autism.
I work with students that have speech impairments in the areas of language, articulation, and stuttering from the ages of three years old to 8th grade.
My caseload is diversified. Some of my students are English Language Learners, nonverbal, Down's Syndrome, mild to severe autism, struggle with alternative augmentative communication (AAC), and have difficulty with navigating social situations.
At middle school, I've tried to teach students with autism about sensory sensitivities, the importance of using social language and being aware of body language. Some students have put forth great effort to fit into groups such as band and choir; yet they continue to feel like they are on the fringes of the group. Some have complained about being called names and being bullied. They have some trouble describing what exactly has happened and what they should do other than reporting it as 'bullying' or ignoring it. It's important for these kids to know what autism is and be able to advocate for themselves.
The Social Thinking conference will help me to guide individuals to better socially attend, interpret, problem solve, and respond to social information.
I will be prepared to help students to interpret and respond to their social world by making smart guesses to discover hidden social rules.
Students with autism and severe language impairments have significant needs in the area of social skills and pragmatics and often have trouble with establishing friendships and maintaining relationships.
The conference gives systematic and logical ways to encourage social responsibility by learning about our own and others’ social thinking.
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