Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Kuder, S. Jay


Children with mental disabilities--Education (Elementary); Social skills--Study and teaching


Special Education and Teaching


This study examined the use of social skills training and its impact on the behaviors of elementary students with multiple handicaps. The two main areas of focus were to improve social conformity and ego strength. Deficits were discovered in these two areas after a pre-test was given to the eleven subjects using the Burk's Behavior Rating Scale and after reviewing the students' Individual Education Plans (lEP's). The students then underwent a ten lesson unit that attempted to increase their social and peer interactions and therefore their self-esteem. The students were taught through modeling, prompting, discussion, direct instruction, role-playing, and discovery. The main focus was through physical education lessons and subsequent discussions. The games were chosen because they lend themselves to goal setting, making friends, being helpful, learning to communicate, and thus with the goal of improving self-esteem. The results indicated that the students showed marked improvement in the area of ego strength and a satisfactory level of improvement in the area of social conformity.