Social skills are the gateway to happiness and all of life’s interactions. Work, school, relationships, and even buying food at the grocery store all require social skills. Yes, even the self-check out requires a certain level of social skills. They are everywhere! How do we know what to teach and when?
- Everyone has a need for social relationships. It may be that someone often preferers alone time AND that they need to have social skills so that be successful in all other parts of their day! Expanding social skills allows us to have a place to be ourselves, share our interests and vent to others when we have a tough day. They help us navigate in the inevitably difficult parts of life and are our source of affection and connection. Look for communities of people with shared interests and remember that everyone deserves quality relationships.
- Ask and listen carefully! This is their life, right? So, what is important to them? By asking the person where they would like to start, you can increase motivation for trying new things and learning new skills.
- Help each other find places we feel happy... it is easier to learn new things when you are enjoying something. Take a step back and consider the places the person is most involved in and calmly observe, learn and reflect. Where is someone successful? Where are they struggling? What opportunities are they missing? Starting with places the person frequently visits, may give the opportunity for more practice.
- Work is filled with social opportunities and requirements. Help identify target areas that may make work more rewarding and successful. Partner with employers when possible to outline expectations, design practice opportunities, and reward growth!
- Maximize respect and dignity! It’s not always easy to hear feedback, especially when you are in front of a peer group. Design a feedback and coaching system that the person is agreeable to and maintain a dignified approach at all times.
Finally, look for a local or online social skills group. There are different kinds of groups out there. Some process the regular events of one’s life and help them to navigate those more effectively, others teach skills that can broaden the scope of relationships. Identify the type of instruction that may benefit the person the most and start there.
In the February of 2022, CCSN is launching adult social skills group for people on the autism spectrum utilizing a curriculum-based approach to improve relationships. For more information Contact Us today.