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It will be important to update and add to them as classmatesand staff change.The Use of Media in Developing Social AwarenessPopular television shows and movies can be used to teach andreinforce understanding of social situations and facial expres-sions. When playing a recorded program or movie, use thepause button on the remote control to stop the video at keypoints, and then ask questions such as:Is the character a boy or a girl?What is the character’s name?What is he wearing?Social Skills99TOOLS & TECHNIQUESSee Chapter 4: 67. Steps to Reading BodyLanguage68. Body and FacialExpressions
What expression is on his face?How does the character feel? Is he sad?Why is he sad?A “feelings chart” containing, for example, picture symbols orphotos, can be provided so that students can match and note the facial expressions of the characters.It may be necessary to watch the video several times before students can answer the questions accurately.Issues in AdolescenceMany fundamental social skills can be developed while studentsare in the primary and junior grades; however, as students enterthe intermediate and secondary years, with puberty the socialdynamics among peers begin to change, and peer relationshipsbecome more complex. Trying to understand interpersonal social dynamics at the intermediate and secondary levels can be a significant challenge for students with ASD. It is importantto note that students with ASD may not share many of the social concerns of their classmates, such as issues of boy/girl relationships, status, fashion, and cliques.There are, however, some areas of particular concern, such ashygiene and sexuality, for all students at this stage of develop-ment. This is a time when positive communication betweenhome and school can serve the student well, as discussing anyissues of concern is important. Issues such as body odour orinappropriate sexual behaviour must be tackled forthrightly,leaving no room for question. Students need to learn abouttheir changing bodies, how to approach members of the opposite sex, and rules about appropriate sexual behaviour.This learning can be supported and reinforced at school andhome. Methods for discussing these personal issues in ways that are dignified for the student, the family, and the schoolstaff must be established.C o m m u n i c a t i o n a n d B e h a v i o u r100
PrivacyStudents with ASD may need to have specific knowledge aboutwhat is private and what is public. Privacy includes knowing howto use a large, public washroom appropriately, as well as knowingwhat parts of their bodies are private and who may touch theirbody (i.e., their doctor). Definite rules need to be established and adherence to them coached and reinforced.

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