50 Important Social Skills For Student IEPs

In today’s world, social skills are increasingly important for success in both personal and professional settings. 

For individuals with disabilities, social skills can be particularly challenging to develop and maintain, yet they are essential for meaningful interactions with others and for accessing educational and employment opportunities.

50 Important Social Skills For Student IEPs

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are critical tools for supporting students with disabilities in their academic and social development. 

In addition to academic goals, IEPs can include goals related to social skills, such as communication, socialization, and self-advocacy.

To help educators and parents support the social development of individuals with disabilities, we have compiled a list of 50 goals for social skills to add to IEPs. 

These goals range from basic skills such as greeting others and making eye contact, to more advanced skills such as conflict resolution and leadership.

By incorporating these goals into IEPs, educators, and parents can work collaboratively to support the social growth and development of individuals with disabilities. 

With the right support and strategies in place, individuals with disabilities can thrive socially and reach their full potential in all aspects of life.

50 Social Skills To Add To IEPs

  • Initiating conversation with peers and adults.
  • Maintaining eye contact during conversations.
  • Responding appropriately to social cues.
  • Identifying emotions in oneself and others.
  • Managing emotions and self-regulation.
  • Showing empathy towards others.
  • Understanding and respecting personal boundaries.
  • Developing appropriate social skills in different environments.
  • Learning how to compromise and negotiate.
  • Recognizing and responding appropriately to nonverbal communication.
  • Developing appropriate body language and tone of voice.
  • Practicing active listening skills.
  • Understanding and following social rules and norms.
  • Learning how to give and receive feedback.
  • Developing conflict resolution skills.
  • Participating in group discussions and activities.
  • Understanding and respecting diversity and cultural differences.
  • Developing teamwork and collaboration skills.
  • Understanding and respecting the opinions of others.
  • Learning how to ask for help when needed.
  • Developing problem-solving skills.
  • Recognizing the impact of one’s actions on others.
  • Practicing self-advocacy skills.
  • Understanding social hierarchies and power dynamics.
  • Developing assertiveness skills.
  • Learning how to set and respect personal boundaries.
  • Developing positive self-esteem and confidence.
  • Understanding and respecting gender and sexual orientation.
  • Understanding and respecting individuals with disabilities.
  • Learning how to navigate social situations independently.
  • Developing decision-making skills.
  • Practicing appropriate social behavior in public.
  • Developing social awareness and emotional intelligence.
  • Recognizing and responding appropriately to bullying and harassment.
  • Developing leadership skills.
  • Practicing appropriate etiquette in different situations.
  • Understanding and respecting personal space.
  • Developing appropriate social skills in the workplace.
  • Understanding and respecting authority figures.
  • Developing appropriate social skills with family members.
  • Understanding and respecting different religions and beliefs.
  • Learning how to make and keep friends.
  • Practicing appropriate behavior at social events.
  • Understanding and respecting personal differences in appearance.
  • Developing appropriate social skills in dating and romantic relationships.
  • Learning how to handle rejection and disappointment.
  • Understanding and respecting personal values and beliefs.
  • Developing appropriate social skills in the classroom.
  • Practicing appropriate behavior on social media and the internet.
  • Developing appropriate social skills in public transportation.
50 Important Social Skills For Student IEPs

Tips For Teaching Social Skills

Teaching social skills can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right strategies and approaches, educators can make a significant difference in the lives of their students.

Here are some tips for teaching social skills:

  • Model appropriate social behaviors: Educators should model positive social behaviors, such as active listening, turn-taking, and respectful communication, to help students learn and internalize these skills.
  • Use visual aids: Visual aids, such as pictures, diagrams, and videos, can be helpful in illustrating social concepts and reinforcing learning.
  • Role-play: Role-playing is an effective technique for practicing social skills in a safe and supportive environment. Educators can create scenarios that challenge students to practice specific social skills and provide feedback on their performance.
  • Use social stories: Social stories are short, descriptive narratives that illustrate specific social situations and appropriate behaviors. They can be effective in helping students understand social norms and expectations.
  • Provide feedback: Feedback is essential for helping students develop their social skills. Educators should provide specific, constructive feedback that focuses on strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Reinforce positive behaviors: Positive reinforcement, such as praise and rewards, can be effective in encouraging students to continue using appropriate social skills.
  • Incorporate social skills into daily routines: Social skills should be integrated into daily routines and activities, such as classroom discussions, group projects, and recess.

By using these tips and techniques, educators can help students develop the social skills they need to succeed in school, work, and social settings.

Final Thoughts

Social skills are essential for success in all areas of life and should be a key component of every individualized education program (IEP). 

The 50 goals for social skills presented in this resource can provide a comprehensive framework for teachers, parents, and professionals to help individuals develop the necessary social skills to thrive in school, work, and social settings. 

By incorporating these goals into IEPs, educators can better meet the needs of students with social difficulties and help them reach their full potential. 

With patience, practice, and support, individuals with social challenges can develop the social skills they need to build positive relationships, communicate effectively, and succeed in all areas of their lives.

Helena Waters

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