Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Social skills and RAD

Taz is so calm today. It is becoming an obvious pattern. On the days when I have class he is an anxious wild mess. We really have to work on relieving this anxiety. In the past it has helped for him to do something for me while I was gone and I did something for him. We will have to try that tomorrow.

Anyway, this transition into high school youth group is not going smoothly. He is so insecure and is emotionally immature. We have tried role playing. We have talked about certain behaviors that are making things worse and are not getting anywhere. So here is the new plan. I don't know if it will work but, hey, it is worth a shot. We are going to back up. These deficits have always been there but have been more noticeable with each grade. So we are going back to some preschool age social skills. I'm getting out the play dough and we will talk. I will be very much focused on that age and communication without really pointing out that I am doing this. I think tomorrow we will go to the pool and spend some time in the pool playing together like this. Water color painting, finger painting and reading together. And we will work our way forward. I don't know if this will help. It can't hurt!

If any of you have had success in building social skills PLEASE share.


peggysue said...

That is a good question. Our daughter is much younger, I pulled her out of the second half of first grade to homeschool her because of her social behaviors. . .the principal and I were having weekly chats, she was a regular visitor in his office, and I thought a good eight months at home might help her grow out of them? It was the only thing I could think of . . . so in the Fall she is going to go to a new school for a fresh start (for second grade) and without the kids in her former class who now know her behaviors and egg her on to further heights of misbehavior.
I'll have to ask my husband about the high school youth group thing . . . he led junior high youth groups for about eight years and then high school for a few, and he had all kinds of kids, he sometimes has better ideas about this than I do.
Just one idea . . . does the youth group meet at the church or in someone's home? If in a home, does it rotate and can you have a meeting in your home to increase his comfort level and security? Our high school youth groups used to meet in homes . . .

Brenda said...

It just meets at the youth pastors home.

Anonymous said...

We bought our daughter a bunch of social stories books. These seem to help. We also do a ton of role playing and modeling for fun. I recently instituted using "Yes Ma'am" and "Yes Sir" for the kids and you wouldn't believe how well this works! And it makes them and us smile! Social issues are tough...mostly we makes sure that there is someone with my daughter at all times to act as her external brain. This isn't an option for everyone but it is necessary for her brain damage.

Diana said...

We have at various times deliberately regressed both our boys back to BABY stage. The little one LOVED it, the older one not so much, but it really helped both of them. There is a "regression" label link in the post topics section of my sidebar. It probalby wouldn't work as well for your teenagers, but you may be able to find some good ideas there. Another thing I've heard recommended in several places is creating a "play pen" area where they can play with baby toys and such. You can do it even just by stacking pillows or standing the couch cushions on end. The point is to create an area of containment where they can safely BE a baby. We had an actual play yard for our kids. They really, really liked it, too...and eventually moved out of the need for it.

Brenda said...


Great info. We have done a lot of regression work and had some of the major successes through it. That is why I am wondering if it will be good for social skills too.

Life's Mom said...

I am reading "Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success" by Duke, Nowicki and Martin and have found it VERY useful. They have some very practical ideas on how to communicate complicated ideas. Deborah Gray recommended it in one of her books.

Without realizing it though, I have regressed our daughter, I'll call her "Life," back to pre-school for social skills training (she is actually 9 years old). Not really on purpose, but she really missed out on those basic pre-school lessons, so we started there.

"Life" would be very rude to people, then get a rude response back and then complain that everyone was mean to her. She could not see that her action was causing a reaction. It is slow going, but she is slowly figuring out that if you are nice to people first, then usually they will be nice in return to you.

I would love to hear any social skills success stories out there and any ideas you may have for teaching these complicated ideas.

(Formerly Anonymous "A")

Brenda said...

Life's Mom. I will definitely read this book! Thanks!