Once I was teaching a lesson on blurting out. The lesson went down hill fast. All of my students (most of which have high functioning autism) started blurting out, yelling over each other, pointing out that the others were blurting out and generally becoming frustrated.
I did what any self respecting Social Skills teacher would do and pulled out my light saber that I had just shared for show and tell. The light saber became the talking stick. You could only talk if you were holding the light saber. Light saber talking was HIGHLY reinforced and waiting until you had the light saber was even more HIGHLY reinforced. The lesson became a success!
Eventually I was able to fade the light saber out of my classroom. Until a lesson on interrupting erupted into chaos.
One of my kiddos pulled a Zelda action figure out of his backpack and declared that unless you had Zelda, you could not talk. The kids pulled themselves back together and I highly reinforced their ability to problem solve the situation for themselves.
They had generalized one skill I taught (blurting) into another (interrupting). If you had seen my room that day you may have seen chaos, I saw success.
This is what Social Skills in action looks like.