An Interactive Workshop on Using Evidence-based
in your Social Skills Groups
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disorders experience a number of
difficulties related to social and communication skills (American
Psychiatric Association, 2013). Special
educators, speech and language pathologists, school psychologists, and other
school professionals are recognizing the importance of providing intervention
to address these specific skills. However, implementing social skills groups in
the schools can be quite challenging. For example, schools often lack the
necessary resources or personnel, there are difficulties with progress
monitoring, and there are not many evidence-based social skill programs
available. Consequently, the purpose of this workshop is to provide school
professionals with specific knowledge and skills on how to implement a social
skills group for students with ASD and related disorders that is
evidence-based, data-driven, inexpensive, and engaging.
full-day workshop will be facilitated by Anisa Goforth, PhD, NCSP and Jennifer
Closson, MS CCC-SLP from the University of Montana. The workshop is designed to
be interactive and participants will role play and practice the skills
throughout the day. There are five goals
for this workshop. Participants will:
about a variety of evidence-based strategies and techniques for working with
children with ASD, including video modeling, role playing, visual supports, peer
mediation, task analysis, social narratives, self-management, prompting, and
contingent behavioral reinforcement.
exposed to a number of social skills interventions that are available and will
be able compare the effectiveness of those interventions.
how to develop individual and group goals that will meet state-standards.
various data-collection techniques for formative and summative evaluation.
present level of functioning and performance, goals and lesson plans to meet
individualized and group needs.
Anisa N. Goforth, PhD, NCSP. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology
in the Department of Psychology at the University of Montana. As a Nationally
Certified School Psychologist, she trains and provides assessment and
intervention services to children diagnosed with a variety of problems,
including Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has been collaborating with Professor
Closson in developing the Youth
Engagement Through Intervention social skills group therapy at UM and has
presented several workshops on assessment and intervention related to autism.
Dr. Goforth is an American and Australian citizen and grew up in Latin America
and Asia. She obtained her B.A. in Psychology at Lewis & Clark College in
Portland, OR and her M.A. and Ph.D. in School Psychology at Michigan State University
in East Lansing, MI. Her primary research interests are related to
multicultural issues in school psychology, social-emotional interventions for
children, and adaptation of evidence-based interventions for ethnic minority
Jennifer K. Schoffer Closson, M.S.
CCC-SLP is the Director
of Pediatric Services for the RiteCare Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic and
an Assistant Professor for the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department
housed in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Services at
The University of Montana (UM). She
obtained her B.S. and M.S. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from Minot
State University and is obtaining her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction
at the UM with a research focus of adults and youth with autism. Professor Closson developed and co-directs
the MOSSAIC (Mentoring, Organization, and Social Support for Autism Inclusion
on Campus) program and co-directs the YETI (Youth Engagement Through
Intervention) with Dr. Goforth. She is
the 2014 president of the Montana Speech-Language Hearing Association, is a
long standing associate board member of PLUK (Parents Let’s Unite for Kids),
and has done a number of presentations throughout the state.