With school almost out, warmer weather here, and local events abounding, we tend to get more social. We start to leave behind winter hibernating and cocooning and move outside to mix with more people. For many of us it is easy to be social and welcome seeing friends, old and new. But, for those on the Autism Spectrum or dealing with ADHD/ADD it is not so easy and social skills impairments are a significant disability. Social skills doesn't just mean relating to "party" atmospheres, but refers more to relationships, jobs, and community living. To get along in our world you need to be able to communicate, relate, and interact in ways that engage others, not ways that alienate others or show indifference.
Some signs of social skills impairments include:
- failure of normal back and forth conversation - am I talking too much or too little? am I speaking too loud or too soft?
- abnormalities in eye contact and body language - look at me, but, when am I staring? what is my body saying to the listener?
- absence of interest in peers - sharing is for mutual enjoyment and interest; not just my interest.
- how do I find a friend? keep a friend?
- how do I avoid being bullied or being a bully?
How can we help? Social Skills Groups/Classes are structured, small group sessions that teach social concepts and practice them with other children of similar abilities. Here at Mind Matters we follow the curriculum created by Michelle Garcia Winner. but adapt it to what is needed for each group. These groups are creative and fun! Social skills learned are also reinforced at home and at school so that they become "generalized" and can be used in many situations. Mind Matters offers these classes regularly. We are now also offering one-on-one social skills training for those who aren't quite ready for group dynamics. This summer during the second and fourth weeks of July we will be offering social skills ...
Visit us at www.mindmattersclinic.org or on Facebook or call us at 209-728-2184 to learn more or to sign up for a social skills opportunity.
Enjoy spring and get ready to spring into social skills!