Review of "Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom"
By Rebecca A. Moyes Jessica Kingsley, 2001 Review by Jodi Forschmiedt, M.Ed. on May 2nd 2003
Like many experts in the field of autism and
Asperger Syndrome, Rebecca Moyes has a child with the diagnosis.As a teacher who was driven by necessity to
learn how to cope with her son's issues, she shares her hard-won expertise in
Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom, and excellent how-to manual for
teachers and parents of children with autistic disorders.
Moyes defines Asperger Syndrome (AS) and High
Functioning Autism (HFA) interchangeably.She focuses her discussion on the deficits in social communication and
social behavior exhibited by these students.The remainder of the book contains strategies, in the form of lesson
plans, activities, environmental manipulations, assessments, and published
curricula, to bolster the social skills of students with AS and HFA.
Moyes' lesson plans include a detailed description
of a group or individual instructional activity.Each one begins with an associated Individualized Educational Plan
(IEP) goal and concludes with suggestions for additional practice at home.Though the lesson plans lack a discussion of
data collection and documentation methods, special education teachers should be
able to supply this missing piece.
The sensory issues of children with AS receive an
extensive discussion which points out the impact these problems have on the
students' ability to function in the classroom and interact with their
peers.Moyes provides several examples
of sensory issues and makes practical suggestions for ameliorating their
In "Interventions to Promote Acquisition,"
Moyes describes a number of well- known curricula designed to facilitate the
social success of children with disabilities.She lists advantages and disadvantages of the methods discussed, along
with many examples and illustrations.Informal strategies also receive some attention, with enough detail to
make it easy for a teacher to adapt any of them to their own classroom.
The most useful chapter for teachers may by
"Social Skills Assessment Tools: Samples and Descriptions."Moyes takes us through numerous methods for
identifying the social communication and behavior deficits of students with and
without AS, and lists the characteristics that mark a successful skills
inventory.This chapter will save
teachers a lot of legwork in choosing an assessment instrument.
Parents will find the final chapter, "IEP
explains the process thoroughly and advises parents to take a proactive, even
aggressive stance in ensuring that their child's needs are appropriately and
Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom would be
a worthwhile addition to the school curriculum library, or to the shelf of any teacher
serving a student with AS in an inclusive setting.Special education teachers may wish to recommend the IEP chapter
to parents who need assistance in becoming more involved in the process.Moyes' work adds needed, practical
information to the body of literature on autistic disorders.