Social Skills training is very hard if everybody in the Social Skills class is of different disabilities since different disabilities require different attention. I feel there needs to be a separation of Social Skills training classes for every type of disability since every disability is on a different level. For instance, mental disabilities are probably have the highest social skills and can adjust a lot better in the world by just minimal social skills training with a professional. Although probably in certain severe cases of mental disabilities where people have lost complete touch of life, probably need even more attention to rebuild their social life.
I am not a professional to teach Social Skills, I am just somebody trying to have people understand the levels of Social Skills training. I have much difficult time since I am on the Autism Spectrum myself which is a neurological deficit. My blessing is my mother who has always helped me out and is trying to continue to smooth me over now with the social skills I developed with her through the years. It is probably why for the past 5 years of my life, I have turned from a silent shy person in to a motor mouth. Now I need to moderate myself to become a better person. There should be other people out there who should try and follow the footsteps of my own mother. She knows how to educate somebody on Social Skills training very well. May be she should do one day seminars in helping other people understand how to approach Social Skills they way she sees it. This way a professional who is having much trouble teaching anybody Social Skills will give better instruction to their class.
Anyway, I just wanted to write this post in now while its in the moment. I feel this a really important issue to follow through.
I was searching for something somewhat different from what is here when I came across your blog. Nevertheless I was quite interested with what you had to say. I was looking for info on social skills for adults but I did like your article because I read all the well written articles about social topics that I can get my hands on. Would it be fine with you if I take part of what you wrote and link back to your site?
I totally agree with you about different types of social skills groups. I ran them for years in school settings and they can be great – kids make friends, learn skills that they can generalize to the real world, understand others better.
Often though, it’s difficult to set up a group with appropriately matched members. For example, if one member is younger than the others, or a different gender, or less skilled socially, the result can be somebody completely left out. That changes the dynamics of the whole group, and everyone’s experiences. Social Skills Group is a broad term and covers a broad area of knowledge.
I agree with LRs’ comment. I am 40 now and only just begining to blend in with the NT’s well and wondering why I bother most of the time? It is exhausting and not always of benefit but it does mean I can hold down a job that pays my bills. It does make me angry though when I explain I am on the Autistic spectrum and people act like they are amazed to hear that.
I was the same way in college myself. Other people wanted to my friend and I had the same problems like you. I understand what you are saying, but I wish it could be different.
I am always in two minds about this.
Whilst it seems to be the case that the supposed lack of social skills is what is most likely to bring ones autism to the wider attention of whoever one is working with, being educated by, socialising with, and that it leads to difficulties and misunderstandings, I fundementally reject the notion that social skills training is all that is required to adapt one to the hostile envirnoment.
To begin with communication is a two way process, and the disability around social skills in this case is socially constructed, in that there is a mainstream or hegemonic way of doing things where the minority imperatives of autistic cognition put one at a disadvantage.
what often appear as social skills deficits actually have deeper roots, in that if one is prosopagnosic to any degree, if one has auditory processing problems, if one tics or stims, has unusual prosody, then one is always going to be at a disadvantage.
One can only teach up to the capacity that is innate to learn, and I am well aware from my own experinece of the limits, and indeed the more skilled one becomes, the more one is sometimes set up for catastrophic failure as one encounters the exceptions that have not been built into the rule based system one has learnt.
If one is not strong enough to move a boulder, one uses a lever, however the social skills training approach often tends to assume the answer the moving the boulder is to press weights in the gym until one can push it out of the way. That is not the best solution, because for all the weight training in the world everyone will not end up like Arnold Schwarzenegger because everyones body is different.
This it is with cognition, we have a different cognitive style, and what we need to learn is how to use it to maximum advantage.
To me the most valuable social skill would be (and I have not cracked it yet at the age of 53) is finding an effective and usefull way of explaining my limitations in a way that makes ones interlocutor or work colleagues capable of making allowances for that.
This point has proven effectiveness when I consider that I do have many friends, who see through the lack of social skills to the real person beneath. The interesting point is that at my last college I did not set out to make friends, I started out as rather insular and aloof, yet other people sought out my friendship.
In some cases that might have been because I had a skill that could help them in there college work, but if that was the cause it has gone beyond that now