What do you all do for social skills?

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Registered: 03-26-2003
What do you all do for social skills?
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Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:13am
We are really needing to work on social skills with Cait. She has a social language group in school but I don't think they get her. It certainly isn't helping outside of school or helping her social understanding. Fortuanately the kids at school have been accepting of Cait since she has grown up with them. She plays with a number of them, but as such the social problems she is having at school are being minimally addressed or overlooked completely because the otehr kids play with her there. As such, social skills in novel situations are getting worse.

Yesterday we went to a pool and she thought the otehr girls her age were out to get her. They were wanting to play with her at first but soon started teasing and not being so nice. there was no way she was going to listen to my ideas about socializing at that time. I did work on it more after the fact. But I am seeing this more often than not in all outside situations. She doesn't seem to be buying it from me and I am tired of being reactive to social problems that arrise.

I would like a social skills curriculum to work on at home. I am also considering outside social skills help. I am thinking about checking into counselling for her through our insurance. Possibly a psychologist or a group run by a psychologist. Any one have good success with any of these things. What are your oppinions.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 1:32pm
I'd be interested to know, too. This is an area that our psychiatrist says that we need to work on with Tristan - but she has referred us to a psychotherapist (says it's her job to diagnose....not treat). We haven't done it as of yet, tho, because there aren't any in our area that take our insurance (which is why we also haven't switched psychs yet, either). Before we make a big deal out of getting into psychotherapy, I would like some input and experiences.

~Carrie

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 6:26pm
We are going to see a psychologist in May but haven't been doing much of anything at home (some role playing is about it, but not much..ds doesn't care for it). I'm interested too to see what others are doing. A curriculum would be great if someone knows of one!!

bless

bugs

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Registered: 04-01-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:21pm
My son is an 8th grader, so I am not sure how much of this will be relevant, but here goes. In 5th grade (when diagnosed AS) he was put in a social skills class at school that met 3 times a week. He LOVED it. In fact, many times he chose to go there rather than in his regular classroom when they had indoor recess. It was a safe place for him to be. Same thing in 6th grade.

When he got to the middle school (7th grade) there was not a social skills class, but it was listed in his IEP, so I insisted they start one. Second semester, they had one in place. He has been in it both years at MS and STILL continues to love it. They have now implemented it in the HS as well, so he will get it again next year for one semester.

The one series that our Psychologist has recommended is "skillstreaming series." I one time did a search for this on Amazon.com, and I believe they do have it.

Good Luck!

Lori

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 6:16am
Social Skills Partners

We've seen the most progress with our dd's through scocial skills partners. Ayla had one for 4 years and made significant progress. Jade now has one that she's had for a little over a year and I don't think I could say enough good things about him to do him credit. He is a 16yo from our homeschooling co-op who just seems to have a way with younger children. They flock to him constantly.

He works with her in two different ways. First, he has a scheduled day each week that he spends with her. On this day they study a new concept in scocial behavior by reviweing situations that Jade is likely to find herself in. Then they do some role-playing to help her understand and recognise the situations and behavior. I am present during this time but I rarely interfere. Jade doesn't want to hear what Mom has to say because when it comes from me it just seems like nagging. But when it comes from Shortman (that's his nickname, lol) it seems more acceptable to her.

The second way he works with her is by just doing things together. Like going to the park or skating rink. He acts as her 'on-site' guide and saftey net. He encourages her to socialize with other girls her age and is always close by to help her when she needs it. He uses the other kids around them as examples of what to do and what not to do. He doesn't lecture her when he does this he just asks her a lot of questions. "What did you think when that older boy took his brother's ball?" "What would you do if it was you?" "Is growling or shouting going to get you your way?" and the list goes on, but you get the point. He's also very good at talking her out of her Aspie Funks. She went through this period of calling herself a 'looser' and it seemed like nothing dh, our other dd's, or myself said made any difference. Shortman sat her down ONCE and rationally explained to her why she couldn't possibly be a looser and she hasn't treated herself like that since.

She still has a long way to go with her social skills but nearly every ounce of relationship building skills she has now is directly due to her accossiation with Shortman. My only hope is that when Eva is old enough to benifit from a social skills partner we will be able to find her one as wonderful as Ayla's and Jade's have been.

Candes

Peace,
Candes  
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:27am
What a marvelous idea. I hope I can find someone for that job. I can't think of anyone off hand. We have had a "typical peer" friend for Cait for about 2 1/2 years that is wonderful. She is about 6 months younger and they spend time together at least monthly, sometimes several times a week, but it is hard to get them together due to school schedules. However, we have never told Jaime of Cait's difficulties (they were young when they met and Jaime just loves her as is. Doesn't think of Cait as different) Plus I think she is too young to be a mentor. Cait does learn a host of play an social skills when they are together, so I could definitely see the value in a social partner. THe best thing about Jaime is she never tires of trying to explain things to Cait and will just tell her bluntly but lovingly when she does something weird.

How do you choose and find a social partner. Almost seems like a big sister thing. DO you set up a curriculum or just play dates. Is this a paid activity for the young man?

Thanks,

Renee

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 1:54pm
Hi, my 10 yr. old dd was referred to a psychologist for eval. & possible social group called "Friends Club" for ages 5 to 18. This lady is so busy though that we can't get in till late June! In the mean time I have her in softball but she really doesn't talk to the other girls. She has an older dd which helps. Have a good day, MaryAnn
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 6:33pm
It is very much like a big sister/big brother thing. I was first introduced to the idea when I was a teenager. I was being homeschooled through a private school and one of the councilors asked my gaurdian if I would be interested in being a "peer councilor" for some of the kids that were full-time residents. The point of the of the program was to use peer pressure in a possitive way. Deristryer (the school) was a military academy with a reform program. Some of the girls who came in came from bad living situations and the councilors and teachers felt they acted the way they did because they didn't have any possitive influences or active role modles. So hand picked older girls were matched up with new students in an effort to teach them manners, propper social skills, and...shall we say,.....how to be a lady. I had a lot of fun being a peer councilor. I also have to say that it works both ways. When you know you have someone looking up to you who is in despirate need of a 'good example' you tend to walk the straight and narrow. LOL.

We don't pay Shortman for what he does, though we do provide him with a small expense account (petty cash) to do all the things he takes Jade to do. We also bought him passes to the bus, skating rink, etc since he wouldn't otherwise use them if he weren't involved with Jade. His father *has* arrained for him to get school credits for it though. I believe it's listed as Home Ec or Child Care (or something to that effect).

As for finding a social partner for Cait I would suggest you go ahead and call Big Sisters of America. Another boy in our co-op, Abrahamn, was just paired up with a young man from Big Brothers and they seem to be a perfect match for each other. Abrahamn is 14 and has moderate autism. I think his Big Brother is 21 or 22, I'm not sure. You also might talk to the reasource teacher at Cait's school or bring it up in the IEP. I know that some schools already have Social Skills Partner programs in place, though, unfortunatly, not many. Our local public school believes so heavily in them that ALL K-3 students are matched up with kids 2 grades higher. If Cait's school doesn't have a program in place maybe they can start one. Another thought might be to ask around at your church or ones in the area.

As far as curriculum, we don't actually have one in place but Shortman does work from the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It's a really good book. We also find stuff on the internet sometimes that is helpful. we once found a site that had a list of what to look for to tell if somone is really your friend or not. I don't remember which site it was but I'm thinking I got there through an OASIS link. Or maybe it was actually on OASIS. If I find the sheet I printed out I will let you know where it came from.

Social Skills Partners really have been a blessing for us. I hope you can find one for Cait. Good luck.

Candes

Peace,
Candes  
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Registered: 11-05-1998
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:05am
Chris (10, 4th grade, AS) has been in a "friendship group" run by the school social worker since second grade. Some of the "friends" have been in the group with him from the beginning and each year, one new friend is added. This helps to build his support network of people he knows and trusts.

At friendship group, which meets every other Monday for about 35 minutes (during school hours) the kids play games or work on projects that they think are fun, but are really designed to teach cooperation, sharing, conflict resolution, etc. Sometimes if Chris is having a hard time with something, I'll call the social worker and see if she can devise an activity that will address the issue.

For instance, Chris was having a tough time with unexpected changes in his classroom. The social worker had the kids play "Uno Attack," where you push a button and you may get one card, a few cards, lots of cards, or no cards. But you don't know which--so you're dealing with the unexpected. After they played, they talked about how they felt playing the game.

The group has been great for Chris and we hope to continue it for as long as he needs it.

Elizabeth

mom to Chris, AS

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 11:04am
Is it possible they have another "Friend's Club" besides the one near me run by Cynthia Norall? Cait was gonna start that but at $200 a month it was a bit steep unless insurance covers a portion. Still have to work on that. I have also heard things about it that make me wonder if it is worth that cost. Just a thought.

Renee

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