Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Social Skills for All! (Kate Altman, M.S.)

Sometimes when I am trying to explain, teach, or role play a social skill or unwritten social rule to a person on the spectrum, I feel stumped.  Social skills and good social behavior can be challenging for all of us!  I consider myself relatively socially-savvy (you would hope so since I've spent a lot of time teaching social skills!), but I have certainly done the wrong thing or put my foot in my mouth on more than one occasion.

Interestingly, I've randomly come across some really nice articles intended for general audience that have great tips for mastering some social rules/etiquette.  This is one from Real Simple magazine about common phrases to avoid in conversation and what to say instead.  For example, they say that you should not tell someone they look tired, but instead should ask them, "Is everything okay?"  And this is a post on a lovely blog called Enjoying the Small Things by the mother of two children, one of whom has Down syndrome.  She breaks down what it means to be a good friend and suggests some ways to be a good friend, such as "really listen" and "remember little details".

Articles like these are helpful, and also a great reminder that we can all benefit from social skills education.

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