Document Type

Special Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education


Professional Studies


Special Education

First Advisor

Rama Cousik, PhD, Chair

Committee Members

Rama Cousik, PhD, Chair, Jeong-il Cho, PhD, Jane M. Leatherman, PhD

Date of Award



With the recent increase of children with autism receiving education in the regular education classes, teachers are required to be knowledgeable about autism and about evidence-based strategies to include students effectively. Individuals with autism have impaired communication and social interaction skills, which makes teaching in an inclusive environment challenging. This Special Project emphasizes how important social skills are for individuals with autism and provides guidance for teachers to teach social skills to students with autism. According to research, social stories, social cue cards, social scripts, and peer role-play within the classroom are effective strategies to teach all aspects of communication, behavior issues, and play skills. For this project, teachers were surveyed to identify their understanding of autism and how they currently teach social skill strategies within their classroom. The findings from the literature review and the data analysis from the survey supported the need for a handbook that emphasizes on social skills and social skill strategies that can be implemented in an elementary classroom setting. The handbook created is aimed at providing guidance for teachers who are seeking information about autism, and how to teach social skills within their classroom using the above four evidence-based strategies.


Autism, Social Skills, Elementary, Social Stories, Social Scripts, Social Cue Cards


Special Education and Teaching