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Social Skills Activities: Developing Empathy

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Social Skills: Developing Empathy and Conversations Lisa Flowers

Social Skills:
Developing Empathy
and Conversations

This is one of my favorite activities and one that I’ve found to be highly effective at establishing perspective taking and developing empathy through conversational practice! It starts with an extensive discussion of the importance of empathy followed by comprehensive explanations for the terms “spatial inclusion”, “conversational participation”, “social distress”, and “mood”. Students can then practice social observation and determination of others’ perspectives by using the handout created for use in sessions, and learn to generalize by using the “homework” handout for real-world practice. Included are notes on how to best use the materials along with suggestions for modified activities.

Related Products to Developing Empathy and Conversations

Sticky Social Scenes game

Recommended for teenagers and adults. This board game for 3-4 players consists of 30 awkward social situations, each with 3 variations, providing a total of 90 different scenarios for students to solve and discuss.

Editing Verbal Narratives Activity

Ideal for anyone who gives too much information, this task works on the ability to regard one’s listener when choosing which information to include in verbal narratives

Polite Wording Worksheets

Students learn to regard others’ feelings and are tasked with incorporating given “softening” words and phrases into opinion statements and requests

Tact Worksheets

Students discuss provided tactless statements, learning to identify properties of offensiveness, bragging, inappropriateness, over-generalization, and prejudice

Speaking to Different Listeners Worksheets

Students learn to tailor information to specific listeners, in terms of both their listeners’ needs and what impressions they hope to give to their listeners

Perspective Taking Worksheets

Students are assigned the task of observing social interactions and speculating on the emotional effect of those interactions on the participants

Communication Skills Questionnaire

Students check which social skills they’d like to work on in the areas of conversation, practical skills, non-verbal, dating, and conflict

Writing A Complaint Letter

Another favorite! Both a writing and social skills task, this product improves the ability to regard one’s reader when choosing content and wording

Kinesics and Conversation Skills:

This social skills activity encourages and trains students to identify non-verbal signs of interest and disinterest during conversations and social interactions

Time Sensitivity Activity

An engaging activity that increases students’ awareness of their listeners’ needs and improves their ability to limit their content to fit those needs

Entering Conversations

An outline of the steps necessary to enter a conversation already in progress, including body proximity, verbal strategies, and determination of acceptance

Elaboration in Conversations

Students learn how they can extend conversations from this handout which rates a variety of answers to the same question in terms of elaboration

social skills activities for high school students with autism
Lisa Flowers Speech Language Pathologist

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