Quick Artic

More fantastic stuff from Thea! If you love these fabulous materials–PLEASE– consider sharing some of your own ideas! Thea has been SO generous to share some great materials that she has put a TON of time and effort into!

Quick Artic Book Two: https://drive.google.com/file/d/142edJQSv5KYYf7amWl1zJP9IQYeKbUvg/view?ts=5e454f54

Quick Artic Book Two: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pPmg3EhpBCvu_YAan9mBFSg8rzDSJ0EU/view?ts=5e454f75



Chapter 3- Middle Four

 By: Kelsey Brown, Mary Gwen Walker, Meredith Romanick

How is this group of skills different from earlier skills?

  •  Learner begins to use directed communication and understand that others have different ideas than their own as well as recognizing the social activity happening around him/her. (Perspective taking)

  •  Learner starts to understand that their actions affect relationships with others, and realize that learning these social skills will help to become social, which is the goal. (Self-awareness) ***so important for feeling included***

  • Learner beings to understand that others have different ideas, thoughts and interests (perspective taking)

  • Trained peers become an important part in learning these new skills.

The 4 new skills:

  1. Reciprocal Exchange- learns to “wait for the response of her social partner and to engage in back-and-forth interaction for an increasing number of exchanges”

    • What does it look like? Learner’s body is oriented to partner. When the partner pauses during a conversation, the learner recognizes it’s now their turn to talk. The learner maintains focus with partner during exchange and anticipates responses from partner. The main objective here is to make interactions more fluid.

  2. Give and Take of Conversation- learns to “send and receive messages as part of a social interaction”

    •  What does it look like? This is more spontaneous than other skills. Demonstration of this step includes 3 exchanges of back-and-forth conversation on a shared topic. Messages can be with words (directions, requests, questions, comments directed towards someone) or without words (pointing to or giving an object to partner) to show them. The main objective here is engagement in “spontaneous back-and-forth”.

  3. Perspective Taking- learns that “others have different thoughts than she does and is able to comment about what other people might be thinking”

    • What does it look like? The learner is reading verbal and nonverbal cues to figure out what others might be thinking. The learner may make changes to their own behaviors and facial expressions as they know that these things affect the way others think about them. They recognize that what others think impacts their own feelings. The main objective here is finding the best ways to read verbal and nonverbal cues.

  4. Reading the Social Scene- “notices what is happening in a social environment , attending to what is relevant, and finding a way to be a part of a social situation”

    •  What does it look like? Upon entering a new environment, the learner takes in the social information. They note who is there, what is happening, and what they are talking about. The learner uses this information to adjust social communication to match the situation and join the interaction. The main objective here is labeling social scenes and finding one that interests the individual and that they want to be a part of.

Evidence-Based Practices to Support Middle 4

  • Social Skill Training- “used to teach individuals with ASD ways to appropriately interact with typically developing peers” (Collet-Klingenberg, 2009, p.1)

  • Social Narratives- “interventions that describe social situations is some detail by highlighting relevant cues and offering examples of appropriate responding” (Collet-Klingenberg & Franzone, 2008, p.1)

  • Video Modeling- “uses video recording to provide a visual model of the targeted behavior or skill” (Franzone & Collet-Klingenberg, 2008, p.1)

  • Peer Mediated Instruction and Intervention- “used to teach typically developing peers ways to interact with and help learners with ASD acquire new social skills” (Neitzel, 2008, p.1)

Overall impressions: This book assumes that everyone wants to be social. I find that to be a powerful thought. Just because someone lacks social skills does not mean he does not want to engage or be included. But, as we grow up, we want to surround ourselves with people who make us feel good. Have you ever been talking to someone who interrupted you (didn’t wait for their turn in the “reciprocal exchange”)? Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they just didn’t respond when it was their turn, leaving you hanging (didn’t quite get the “give and take of conversation”)? Or maybe someone seemed really self-centered and said some things that didn’t take your feelings into consideration (because they were not “perspective taking”). We typically don’t want to be around these people because it’s awkward and not very enjoyable for us. These skills are vital for someone who wants to engage, form relationships, and feel included.


Baseline/Stimulability Screener

Thea Sellers shares:

Hi, everyone,
I’m happy to share a new assessment/screening tool I created to help with quickly and efficiently collecting baseline and/or stimulability data during initial evaluations or re-evals.
It includes a data collection protocol for consonants and vowels and is organized by CV, VC, CVC/Early Sounds, Middle Sounds, Late Sounds and Complex Blends.
The data collection protocol lists each sound with accompanying vocabulary prompts and has a place to mark if the student can produce the sound in isolation.  If true baseline data is being gathered, the picture prompts can be administered alone, or, if a stimulability percentage is needed, the words can be administered with a model and cues.  The picture prompts can also be used as stimuli for collecting progress data if a goal or benchmark is written for a specific phoneme.
When designing this tool, I tried to pick familiar, salient vocabulary, as well as pair a variety of vowel sounds with each consonant to look for facilitating contexts.
If you decide to use it, I’d love your feedback!  Thanks!
Thanks, Thea!!

Chapter 2: Lower Four (part 2)

After this chapter discusses the lower four parts, it breaks it down into sub-skills for each one. The author noted that it’s important to target these sub-skills and also be working on multiple skills at a time. Rating each skill from 0-3 can give the caregiver/SLP a better idea of the student’s progress. Evidence based practices to target the lower four include: naturalistic environment, discrete trial training and use of visuals. 

Notes on example activities:

  • Proximity- staying in one space by using visual timer, tokens to stay in area, tape on the floor with a shape for child to sit in, praise throughout

  • Parallel- during small group activity (same activity but not “together”), student will participate and make eye contact, smile, gesture, use of bubbles or card game

  •  Joint Attention- going through grocery bag full of items as a task

  • Reciprocal exchange – sitting small group in circle and passing preferred item around

Reflection: I thought this chapter was helpful in breaking down the levels of engagement. I will definitely use what I learned in therapy. The lesson ideas for each lower 4 were good ideas and seem reasonable to use in therapy. The only part that worries me is the behavior/inattention of some students with engagement. They may be running around the room and not wanting to sit for a period of time, especially when it’s a small group setting versus one-on-one therapy. I’ve noticed in my own practice that music is a great motivator and way to target engagement with a child. You can look at the music video at the same time, take turns holding the device, and maybe have some verbal output for requesting. One other point I would like to make, which the book mentioned, is using this model along with an OT. If the child cannot self-regulate , an OT’s expertise would be much needed. What has been your experience with working on the Lower 4 with your students? Any successes or failures?


Chapter 2: Lower Four (part 1)

Mary Kivett shares:

A time of learning to be together with a social partner and beginning to understand and be motivated by social interactions.

Interaction= a back and forth exchange with a social partner.

Social Partners = skilled partners (i.e. family members, adult friends, therapists, teachers) trained to facilitate social skills.

Peers = role models & can start teaching skills near the top of the Lower 4

Important = assess self-regulation as you approach each moment of “being social” (Calm + alert = Ready)


The ability to share the same space (i.e. within 5 feet) as another person.

The social partner moves into the social space and draws attention to herself by doing a similar activity as the learner.

Look for signs of interest (i.e. reaching, moving near, vocalizing)

When the learner is demonstrating this step successfully, she is maintaining proximity for at least 5 minutes.


While in a shared space practice being with someone and using the same materials (parallel play) as social partner.

Encourage the learner to notice her social partner

When the learner is demonstrating this step, she will visually attend briefly, to what the partner is doing.


The ability to coordinate visual attention with a social partner. The learner begins to follow or initiate attention to an item of interest. We teach the learner to follow the social partner’s direction (i.e. look, point, sound, word) to attend to something of interest. Example: (“We are looking at this.”)

Learner alternates his gaze between an object of interest and his social partner.

Important- have items available that are of great interest to learner

Social partner-use big exaggerated actions and expressions and slow down the pace of his sounds, words, and movements to get the attention of the learner.

Accept any small sign that learner wants to share his interest with another person.


Focus on back and forth interaction (“Me then you”)

The learner orients her body to her social partner, maintaining a shared focus for increasing amounts of time and learns to give and take an object, imitate sounds and actions, wait for her partner to respond eventually engage in reciprocal interaction lasting for more than one exchange.

Interactions can be verbal or nonverbal

Crucial step = learning to “be social”


Chapter 2 breaks things down into small steps and clearly states the importance of each one. Each step build on the one prior to it. At the bottom of each page there are real examples of a man (Gabriel) demonstrating each step during his daily life activities. Check it out! I found it very interesting.