Social Skills for Adolescents and Adults with ASD | Organization for Autism Research

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DATE: THU, March 28, 2019
PRESENTER: DR. MARY JANE WEISS
Length: 85 minutes

SOCIAL SKILLS FOR ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS WITH ASD:

FINDING RELEVANT TARGETS FOR INSTRUCTION, USING INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES THAT WORK, AND BALANCING SELF-DETERMINATION WITH SKILL-BUILDING

Social skills are an elusive target of intervention for ASD, especially for adolescents and adults. It is imperative that clinicians define and achieve outcomes that matter- including community engagement, independence, and real integration into multiple environments. It is also imperative that these outcomes are identified by the individual with ASD, and reflect their interests, values, and goals. This presentation will focus on these outcomes, and on skill building that fosters desired social connections, meaningful engagement, and reduced vulnerability.

We will discuss what skills to teach, focusing on increasing integration, on preventing behaviors that lead to expulsion from community, on teaching survival skills in social contexts, and on teaching functional social skills. We will also review how to teach these skills, focusing on using evidence-based practices, generalization strategies, and ensuring the availability of responses. Special attention will also be paid to measures of social validation and the assessment of quality of life.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Identify ways to determine meaningful outcomes for adolescents and adults with ASD
  • Identify ways to teach social skills that are evidence-based
  • Define ways to measure socially significant outcomes in this curricular domain
  • Review areas of vulnerability for these individuals, and ways to reduce risk
14MaryWeissAbout Dr. Mary Jane Weiss

Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Professor at Endicott College, where she directs the Master’s Program in ABA and Autism and is a mentoring faculty member in the Doctoral program.  She also conducts research with the team at Melmark. 

Dr. Weiss has worked in the field of ABA and Autism for over 30 years. Her clinical and research interests center on defining best practice ABA techniques, exploring ways to enhance the ethical conduct of practitioners, evaluating the impact of ABA in learners with autism, teaching social skills to learners with autism, training staff to be optimally effective at instruction, and maximizing family members’ expertise and adaptation. 

Dr. Weiss serves on the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research, is on the Professional Advisory Board of Autism New Jersey, is a regular reviewer for a variety of professional journals, and is a frequent member of service committees for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. 


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