Please keep in mind when answering the questions below that I am a 35-year-old Italian- American teaching in a kindergarten ICT class in an elementary school in a predominantly African American neighborhood/school in Brooklyn, NY.Reflect on what you’ve learned.What challenges do students with ASD typically face in forming relationships and practicing social and emotional reciprocity?What impact do these challenges have on these students? How can you guide them through these challenges?Post to the discussion board.Name three strategies or practices that could be used with a school-aged child that could help improve his/her peer relationships and/or social/emotional reciprocity.Discuss why you think each strategy could be helpful in a school setting.How are these strategies different than those you would have expected or suggested prior to now? How has what you’ve learned so far influenced your approach to supporting students with ASD in this area?Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings.Your response should extend the discussion (i.e. ask a question, provide a similar experience, make a suggestion).My colleague’s post:shannon d.Tue Sep 20, 2022 at 11:47 amStudents with ASD often have challenges forming and maintaining relationships, as well as have difficulty engaging in social and emotional reciprocity. They often have challenges perspective taking, which is why they are not always in tune with how or why others are feeling a certain way. They also have difficulty expressing their own emotions, and self-regulating these emotions. As a result of having challenges understaning and interpreting other’s facial expression, body language and emotions, they tend to lack empathy, amking it dififuclt to form and establish these relationships. Following social norms can also be challenging, making others uncomfortable although of course unintentional. They don’t always pick up on social cues, or sarcasm and miscommunications can happen. These challenges they face daily can lead to isolation, being withdrawn, and feelings of lonliness. It is important to work with these students to help them develop relationships with peers, staff and family members, so they feel loved and nurtured, having their basic needs met. Feeling welcomed, accepted and included will also likely reduce and eliminate bullying.Teaching social skills to a student on the spectrum such as eye contact, taking turns while speaking, and appropriate space and vocal volume can help these students. Social stories on how to interact and make friends, can also be used with these individuals. Social stories can guide them through scenarios using pictures and words, and visuals are easier for this population to pick up on and understand. Lastly, teaching children literally and explicitly on what a friend is and how to be a friend could be advantageoues in them making friends. Using questions such as, “Do you like being around people who say nice things to you?” and “Do you like when people call you names?” can help children know and understand what a friend is, and can then in turn help them be one.Some students need this specific instruction, whether on the spectrum or not. Especailly after COVID, when there has been a lack of interaction and social cues and norms with mask wearing, and space giving, I’m finding myself needing to re-teach these norms and social interactions more and more. Setting up the environment in school for children to play with one another (since they learn so much through that) and fostering sharing and turn-taking can help form relationships and have them practice both social and emotional reciprocity.

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