Understanding Common Learning Challenges of Elementary School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Strategies for Social Skills Teaching from Practitioners' Perspectives
Abstract: This study examined common learning challenges of elementary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and strategies for social skills teaching in classroom practice. Expert interviews and qualitative analysis were used to identify the most mentioned challenges and practical strategies for teaching or guiding the target students. Findings indicate that the most common challenges included interpersonal difficulties and emotional regulation problems. The most recommended strategies included: (a) inviting typically developing peers to play table games with the target students in the learning center regularly and (b) trying to calm the target students before continuing to guide them. In addition, picture books, social stories, facial expression observations, and real-life scenarios were proposed in terms of possible content for technology integration. These findings may assist teachers in designing a social skills course for elementary students with ASD in the future.