NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

K-12 Professionals

Teaching Social Skills to Students with Autism

EDUC 600




Instructor: Michelle Kalina

Grading: Letter or S/U

Spring, Summer & Fall (Ongoing)

August 25, 2014 - December 19, 2014

Instruction Mode: Correspondence

Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development

NDSU Credit Fee: $350

Class Offered Through Northstar Continuing Education

Course Description:

Making friends and understanding social situations come naturally to most people. Our friends and family relationships are often the most fulfilling aspects of our lives. However, our students with autism find the world of social relationships confusing and frightening. Children with autism need to learn specific rules to navigate social relationships, make good choices in friends and understand the “silent” language of facial gestures, intonation and posture. In this course, you will learn how to teach students with autism to build positive relationships and to use the “10 Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships” explained by Dr. Temple Grandin and Sean Barron on a daily basis. The interventions learned in this class will improve student motivation, mental well-being, self-esteem and quality of life, resulting in increased academic achievement. Students will develop important social skills that will serve them throughout their lifetimes. They will learn how to build and maintain long-lasting friendships and learn how to interact appropriately in a variety of social settings at home, work, school and in their communities.


As a result of this participation in this course, students should:

1. Learn how to interact with peers and adults appropriately in a variety of social situations at home, school and in the community.

2. Increase student self-esteem and develop healthy peer relationships.

3. PreK-12 students will learn how to interpret facial expressions, body language, and literal and non-literal language to increase academic achievement.

4. Students will learn how to appropriately respond to negative peer interactions to avoid being bullied, build self esteem and avoid school suspension for physical altercations.

5. Make school a pleasant, safe experience for students, promoting understanding of academic instruction, and build positive adult relationships and satisfying peer friendships.

6. Understand the defining characteristics of the autism spectrum disorders and how they impact social relationship and quality of life.


Grandin, T. & Barron, S. (2005). Unwritten rules of  social relationships: decoding social mysteries  through the unique perspectives of autism. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons, Inc.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2008). Autism Spectrum Disorders: Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Washington, D.C.: Department of Health and Human Services.

Article may be found at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/autism/nimhautismspectrum.pdf

Textbook(s) not included in the cost of the course.

About The Instructor

Michelle Kalina
Michelle Kalina

Michelle Kalina earned an M.S. in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin, Steven's Point. Michelle also has a B.S. in Communicative Disorders and a B.A. in German and History, with a minor in Russian. Michelle is ASHA and DPI certified in Early Childhood through Adult Populations in Educational Settings. Michelle has over 17 years of experience as a speech/language clinician.


**Registration Instructions:

A minimum $20 processing fee will be assessed per person for cancellations received after the start of the course. Refunds are not issued after the start of the course or after access to the course has been provided.

**Register Now