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Triumph and a question regarding social skills

(6 Posts)
frizzcat Sat 22-Sep-12 14:07:41

Ds 7 ASD - had his first 1st Holy Communion class today. As you can imagine I have been a suicidal mess in anticipation - but he did really well, didn't stick out too much and read his bidding prayer!

His social skills with his peers however remains poor - he kind of drowns them out and appears to be in his own zone when they talk to him. He doesn't even try to join in even when he's invited.
Does this sound familiar to any of you
What strategies/therapies have you used to help this? And have they worked??

moosemama Sat 22-Sep-12 16:29:11

Congratulations on your 1st Holy Communion minifrizz. smile

The social skills thing sounds fairly typical. Ds doesn't so much drown them out as just talk at them until they glaze over. He's 10 now and his social skills have improved bit by bit, but still have a long way to go.

We haven't used any specific therapies or strategies, but we do spend a lot of time explaining social situations to him and discussing how he could/should approach them, as well as analyzing when things have gone wrong and discussing what he could have done differently. We've had various books over the years covering different topics that we can discuss eg 'Is it right to fight', 'What is a friend' that sort of thing and they can be useful as a starting point for discussion. I find it really useful to use Amazon's 'look inside the book' feature to see which ones will be suitable.

He has attended the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) pretty much permanently since Reception year and as the SALT who saw him the other day said, by now he knows all the answers to the social/communication questions they pose and seems to the teacher understand what he should do - but - he is simply unable to put it into practice at the right times, because he can't read and assess each new social situation and/or the people involved.

There is also the fact that he likes things to run to his own agenda and doesn't see the point in mincing words if he considers other people to be unreasonable (for that read, not letting him have it all his own way hmm). So, even if he knows what he should do, he can sometimes choose not to, if he feels it's not going to be of any benefit to him personally. <sigh>

Strongecoffeeismydrug Sat 22-Sep-12 16:43:38

Congratulations frizz kitten smile

amberlight Sat 22-Sep-12 18:23:42

Ha yes. Hence why 'social skills training' is as much use as a fish on a bicycle for many of us. We can learn by rote what to say when someone says " How are you?" but suppose they use different words? Unable to generalise, we're stuck.
And without being able to see the body language for 'please stop talking because I am SO bored/want to say something', we just carry on talking.
It took me until my 40s to master social conversation to a good enough degree to make and keep more than one friend. This may not cheer you up a lot, of course.
Three things I learned were very useful. Always smile. Stop talking after two sentences and let the other person talk. Whilst they're talking, listen carefully. Those rules might help for starters.

moosemama Sat 22-Sep-12 18:29:45

Hmm, we've got the smile (that's how he charms his teachers wink) but have a long way to go on the 'stop talking' and 'listen carefully' part. In fact I think those are the two most used phrases in this house - other than 'ds1, it's considered rude to say it like that, perhaps you could reword it, eg ...."

We have ended up at 'stop talking' following years of trying to hint and ask him in various polite ways. Unfortunately 'ds1, please stop talking now' seems to be the only thing that works. blush

frizzcat Sat 22-Sep-12 19:17:09

Thanks ladies, I've been bogged down with ilkea book case building confused. I think half the problem is that he has no filter for noise and so can't concentrate on the task in hand iyswim. Im going to be doing some AIT this year to see if that improves things - and then crack on with social stuff. Have any of you heard of that helping?

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