Training Paraprofessionals and Recess Staff to Teach Social Skill Interventions to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The need to provide appropriate support for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during recess and lunch is essential. This paper presents a workshop for paraprofessionals, recess supervisors and custodians to learn strategies to help students with ASD initiate appropriate social interactions and communications with their peers during recess and lunch. The content of the workshop is intended to provide an understanding of common characteristics of students with ASD and their need for both social skills and friendship development. The workshop also includes an explanation of the different states of student engagement on the playground as well as methods to boost appropriate engagement. Specific tips are provided throughout the workshop, along with video demonstrations, discussions and games to encourage participation.