Confident Solutions
As a mom of a child who needs more guidance in social skills groups, I have reflected a lot on how to teach these skills. When M was younger, I followed him around and gave him dialogue to use with friends. When it seemed like he didn't know what to say, I would give him the words or questions. As he grew older and more adults were introduced into his environment, I would let them know what the triggers were, what he really meant by hitting someone, and when I could, I still gave him words to use. At the same time, we worked on feeling words and identifying people by their faces and characteristics. Later still, he began social groups with other professionals. As he grew older and Christina and I developed this business, I worked with M on the curriculum we chose to use. All of these were really great things to do. He has learned along the way. Now, as a pre-teen/teen we are approaching new territory. And as always, Michael teaches more and more. My goal when working with him is to help him identify who he wants to be. I do not want him to identify himself based on other peoples definition of who he is. I want him to define himself. As he does this, I will better be able to give him tools to use to become who he wants to be. Lately, he has identified himself as the funny kid. As a result of that, I can teach him how to look at other people's faces to decide if he is being funny. I can use all of my knowledge as a speech-language pathologist and the development of pragmatic language to help him meet the goals he has set for himself. When I work with kids who need specific instruction in social skills groups. I listen to how the child identifies himself. I listen to who he has decided he wants to be at this stage in his life and I help teach him the behaviors that coincide with those decisions.