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Does your ds/dd get any help with social skills at school

(19 Posts)
macwoozy Mon 14-Mar-05 16:25:45

The SALT will be coming into my ds's school soon to review my ds, and I have been offered the chance to meet up with her whilst she is there.
Whilst in pre school he attended a speech and language group but since starting reception, he has no further help.
His vocabularly has improved immensely, but he still has problems talking socially. His teacher commented that his speech is actually better than a few other children in his class, (he's at mainstream) so I do not expect him to recieve further speech therapy, but I really really do feel that he needs the extra help with his social skills.
I thought I'd bring this up with the SALT, but before I meet her, I'd love to hear if any other children has attended such social skills groups,(if at all they exist) or do you know of schools that offer this extra help. My ds is nearly 5 and there is only one other child with ASD at his school.

MrsFROSTgetful Thu 17-Mar-05 22:43:52

NO....but think all ASD kids should- regardless of whether the teachers think the kids are 'Too bright or TA help' as in my boys cases......they may be ACE at achademics....but they need life/social/daily living skills.

let me know!!!


jmb1964 Fri 18-Mar-05 00:11:00

Our ds1 (AS, 7.5) did a social skills course last term. It was run by 2 SALTS in the language unit of a neighbouring school, and ran every Thursday afternoon for 11 weeks. The group consisted of about 6 children (all boys!) some with specific diagnoses, mostly AS, one with behavioural problems, and even one little chap who I think was there because he was very shy and hardly ever spoke in class. They all came from different primary schools so didn't know each other at the beginning. Ds1 loved it, and his behaviour in class and at home improved quite dramatically. They spent ages on the simple stuff like turn-taking, listening etc, but in a fun way with little games and rewards.
The only problem is that it's now over ,and there doesn't seem to be any follow-up, so I worry that he might slip back again.

Blossomhill Fri 18-Mar-05 07:39:22

Yes we do. My dd aged 5 and a halfand receives 2 sessions of social skills run by a SALT and a specialist language trained teacher.

Jaysmum Fri 18-Mar-05 08:22:52

When J was at school he attended "Tuesday Club" which was a small group of children who had social skills difficulties. They would be set tasks to complete which involved them working as a team. J really enjoyed these sessions and they did help with his social interaction.

roisin Fri 18-Mar-05 08:42:20

Our school does social skills/conversational skills with small groups of children. Sometimes these are children with SEN, sometimes they are children from particularly deprived backgrounds, iyswim. The groups are run by specially trained teaching assistants, rather than SALTs. The material they use is called the Social Use of Language Project (SULP), which was written by Wendy Rinaldi. I've just been looking for a link, but can't find it. If you want more info, let me know and I'll look it out for you.

If you are very interested in this area, I would recommend her book: Language difficulties in an educational context . But it is quite heavy-going in places, so not a light read by any means. (It's also very expensive, but I managed to get hold of a copy through the library.)

There is another scheme called Socially Speaking, which is a similar sort of thing, aimed at slightly older children. Again I can provide further details if you're interested.


jollymum Fri 18-Mar-05 18:54:12

Interested in the scheme for older kids, any info very welcome!

roisin Fri 18-Mar-05 21:31:31

Jollymum, the course I referred to is here. I have some photocopies of some pages. If you would like I could send you some copies for you to have a closer look at the material. Feel free to CAT me if this would be of interest.


Blossomhill Fri 18-Mar-05 21:38:03

What age is that for Roisin?
As I bought this and the SALT at dd's school said that dd was 1 too young and also it is really, really hard to practice social skills on a 1:1. She said to just go to the park, after school clubs and give dd plenty of time to practice.

roisin Fri 18-Mar-05 21:50:11

Blossomhill - Oh absolutely about the 1:1 thing. Socially Speaking (aimed at KS2 I think, I know someone who uses it in yr6) and SULP (aimed at KS1) are both designed to be delivered with a small group of children and two adults. The adults then 'act out' examples of good and bad communication.

There is some material you can use 1:1, but primarily that's not what it's about.

Blossomhill Fri 18-Mar-05 21:54:45

In dd's school the 9 language base children have social skills twice a week.
Speaking to dd's teacher today she said that dd is becoming so much better at turn taking and wheras before if it wasn't her turn she would switch off. Now she is excited and will say oh XXX it's your turn. So small steps but at elast she is progressing!
She even received a love letter from her boyfriend today!!!!

Punnet Fri 18-Mar-05 22:35:29

My ds1 gets two hours of social skills each week, has done for 3 weeks but they only told me Wednesday! There's nothing else on offer though; if the problems don't go away that's it, either I take him home at breaks (I can't) or we have problems. DS1 in process of being diagnosed with Aspergers- he almost got there before, fell through, but now I have spoken to Doctor and it seems it is pretty certain it's Aspergers, we just never got to the confirmation point- we were assessed.

macwoozy Fri 18-Mar-05 23:47:07

MrsFROSTgetful, I will let you know if I get any joy with the SALT, it's on Monday morning, I brought up the subject of my ds attending a social skills group last night at parents evening, his teacher was very encouraging, so at least I know I'll have her backing if the SALT asks for her input. TBH I didn't even know if such groups existed, I know they do in America, but after reading these threads I know that such groups are available, although wether it happens in my area, I don't know, but I'm going to push really hard for it.
roisin, thanks for the info, I've looked at the link, sounds interesting, but unfortunately no reviews from readers, it is abit pricey although I am prepared to buy, but wondered if you could at all tell me something about the book. Will it help me with ideas on how I could encourage my ds's social skills. I don't often have the opportunity for him to practice such skills on other children, he's nearing 5 years, and he still refuses to say hello, even to me.
Punnet, good luck with the diagnosis.

roisin Sat 19-Mar-05 09:05:59

Macwoozy - the Rinaldi book is very much background reading for professionals; Many mainstream teachers know very little about language difficulties, and this book provides some background, and suggested ways for class teachers to work with other professionals. It doesn't really have the practical ideas you are looking for. I do have some photocopies of a few pages I could send you to give you an idea of what it is. CAT me if you're interested.

We have found Oden's approach (below) to be very effective with ds1. He is now 7, and it wouldn't have worked for him when he was 5. (At the time he would refuse to name any emotion at all. So we couldn't begin to talk about happy, sad, angry or anything like that. Fortunately he has made loads of progress in the last 2 years.)

For high-utility social skills, a coaching approach to teaching social interaction concepts might be necessary. One such approach, developed by Oden (1986) identifies the following high-utility social skills concepts:

* getting started
* getting involved
* paying attention to the activity
* trying to do your best

* taking turns
* sharing the game or materials
* repairing problems through making suggestions
* providing an alternative in the event of disagreement

talking with another person
* saying things about the game or self
* asking a question about the game or person
* listening attentively when another person talks
* looking at the other person to see how s/he's doing

* giving attention to the other person
* saying something nice when the other person does well
* smiling appropriately
* having fun
* offering help or suggestions
* giving encouragement

In teaching these concepts, Oden recommends the following sequence:

Step 1: Suggest concept (e.g. cooperation).
Step 2: Probe child's knowledge of the concept and request examples.
Step 3: Repeat and rephrase child's appropriate examples, and disconfirm and redirect inappropriate examples.
Step 4: Probe child's understanding of counter-concepts and examples.
Step 5: Repeat and rephrase child's examples and clarify that these are (or are not) counter-examples of the concept.
Step 6: Probe child's understanding and reasoning of different social consequences of the social behavioural examples and the counter-examples for each concept, from both child's perspective and that of the other child/person.
Step 7: Check to see if child remembers one or two examples for each concept. Review each concept and suggest examples which were not mentioned or remembered.
Step 8: Suggest that child try out some of the instructed concepts in a session to follow immediately (i.e. apply this coaching method prior to a party, or other social situation).
Step 9: Discuss the ideas after the social situation, and review how successful they were.


janeybops Sat 19-Mar-05 10:11:06

IN our borough the Behaviour Support Team helps teachers with this sort of thing. They have even come in and run such groups for us at school. We currently have a lunchtime club for children who have lunchtime problems. She teaches them table manners (they all eat together) and social skills. I think if depends on if the council is willing to fund such groups, as there is specific funding for this. Counselling sessions (timetabled) are also run every afternoon for specific individuals too.

macwoozy Sat 19-Mar-05 18:49:31

roisin, thanks very much for all the information. That has certainly given me ideas on how I can approach my ds's social skills dificulties. I don't know how much input I'll get back from my ds, but I'll definetly give this method a try. I appreciate that.

macwoozy Tue 22-Mar-05 12:31:20

Because of all the information you all offered, I was able to meet up with the SALT with the knowledge that certain groups can be available.
So I brought up the subject, and after discussion with my ds's teacher, a speech/social skills group will be organised at the school involving several other children as well. I'm well pleased. Apparently they will start of with basic strategies, like encouraging my ds to say hello, without getting himself all worked up.
So one step forward.

dinosaur Tue 22-Mar-05 12:32:27

He has had help and encouragement to talk about feelings - the whole class has done it, in circle time and so on. It does seem to have helped him.

dinosaur Tue 22-Mar-05 12:32:51

Sorry macwoozy, didn't read your post befroe I posted

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