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The goal of my SRV project was to teach and model two appropriate social behaviors at a

time and give Brian (my student) the opportunity to practice these behaviors with his peers

during class time, lunchtime or recess time at least 3 times a week until the end of June, 2017.

To do this I planned to create social stories, model correct social behavior and have Brian imitate

and practice these behaviors, and provide a friendship circle to give Brian opportunities to

practice targeted skills.

Brian is an individual in my classroom who struggles with demonstrating appropriate

social skills. His classmates notice the difference in the way he behaves compared to themselves

and have started to comment about it, distance themselves from Brian, and often exclude him

from their activities. Brian often plays alone or seeks adults to join him in his play. As someone

who already experiences some wounds of devaluation, Brian is more vulnerable to being even

further devalued and wounded (Wolfensberger, 2013, p. 153). Wolfensberger (2013) points out

that a person’s social image improves as their competencies increase and as their competencies

increase they are more likely to be socially accepted (p. 94). It was my intention to increase

Brian’s competencies by teaching him appropriate social skills in the hope of lessoning the

perceived difference between him and his classmates. I want Brian to be viewed as a valued

member of our classroom by all of the students in my class.

One of the strategies that I implemented to target Brian’s social behavior was modelling

and practicing. Not only did the articles I read for this assignment suggest that this was an

effective method to use, but Race (1999) also talks about the power of imitation and how it is

used in ‘social learning’. Race (1999) goes on to discuss how imitation is a natural, adaptive,

unconscious way of learning and can be used to learn appropriate (as well as inappropriate)
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behaviors (p. 144). After reading through the imitation process in the Race (1999) text, it

became clear to me that this would be an effective intervention for Brian. An interesting aspect

of this intervention is that the person modelling the behaviors for Brian was not just limited to

me, his teacher. Other staff, siblings, family members, or peers become models of behavior.

Likewise, Brian was not the only one learning through imitation throughout this process. His

classmates learned right along with him, and we as staff became very aware of our audience and

how our actions were being perceived. We were all teaching and learning from each other!

Brian was and still is at risk for being devalued by his peers. We have put many good

strategies into place to help increase Brian’s academic competencies. We needed to address his

social needs. I believe this was the right place to start and we will be continuing this project with

Brian and his classmates in the next school year.
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References

Race, D. G. (1999). Social Role Valorization and the English experience. London, England:

Whiting and Birch, Ltd.

Wolfensberger, W. (2013). A brief introduction to Social Role Valorization: A high-order

concept for addressing the plight of societally devalued people, and for structuring human

services. (4th ed.) Plantagenet, ON: Valor Press.