Social Skills and Counseling Approaches The Learning Clinic Katie McGrady, Psy.D. Raymond W. DuCharme, Ph.D.
Pragmatic Language Skills The practical use of language THE LEARNING CLINIC
Survey Instructions Likert Scale of 0 - 5
Survey Instructions Likert Scale of 0 - 5
Primary Deficits of AS • Two of the salient characteristics of AS are deficits in language and in communication.
TOPIC The “subject” of the communication THE LEARNING CLINIC
Establishing a Conversation Can the student appropriately establish a conversation? • Select & introduce a topic • Choose a topic • Initiate the presentation of information
Maintaining a Conversation Can the student appropriately maintain a conversation? • Duration of topic • Is the student “long-winded”? • Appropriate turn-taking • Wait for pause in conversation before speaking • Give others “space” to speak
Content of the Topic • Accuracy • Is the information accurate or distorted? • Logic • One thought logically follows another • Giving reasonable information representing sound judgment • Relevance • Information relevant to the people and setting • Conciseness • Information is concise and succinct
Changing Topics Appropriately • Change topic of conversation to coincide with shifts in conversation • Incorporate verbal & nonverbal cues to know when a change in topic is appropriate • Demonstrate cognitive flexibility to shift from one topic to another • Appropriate introduction of new topic • Transitional statements
Revising Messages to Fit Changes in Topic • When new information is received, does the student: • Revise messages within flow of reciprocal conversationOR • Rigidly adhere to previously formed concepts & opinions
Modifying Message to Repair Breakdown in Communication • When the student perceives a misunderstanding of the message, can s/he: • Modify the message • Adjust the message so it is better understood
Appropriately Terminating Conversation • Can the student: • Use appropriate closing statements rather than walking away or starting another activity
PURPOSE The inferred “why” behind the communication THE LEARNING CLINIC
Requesting / Asking • Who - When - What - Why - How • Either / or • Inquire about another’s emotions • Ask product questions • Elicit information about a process/sequence • Request an action • Ask permission • Ask clarification rather than feigning understanding • Ask questions which suggest an action
Informing • Explain, describe, or identify things • Express personal judgments, opinions, attitudes, etc. • Express beliefs about other’s abilities • Inform others of their choices, answer questions, or indicate their compliance
Regulating Use of statements that are intended to control another’s behavior, to get one’s attention, negotiate, or influence actions • Use warnings or reminders • Delineate personal claims • Label the speaker who gets the next turn and use persuasion appropriately • Attempt to delay or speed-up the actions of oneself or others
Expressing (receptive/expressive) Use of expressive statements and understanding of other’s use of same • Identify and express emotions • Tell jokes; understand & respond to other’s jokes • Apologize, congratulate, or exclaim • Use and respond to teasing appropriately • Volume and tone consistent with situation
Ritualizing Social communication that involves an “automatic” element in the response • Use of good manners and common social amenities • Use of automatic social exchanges with a specific context / audience
ABSTRACTION The type of message that is communicated by language that is not concrete THE LEARNING CLINIC
Use, understand, & respond to: • Sarcasm • Idioms & figurative language • Indirect messages
VISUAL / GESTURAL CUES Nonverbal means of communicating attitudes, moods, or affective states THE LEARNING CLINIC
Visual / Gestural Cues • Use appropriate visual / gestural cues • Eye contact • Facial expression • Proximity • Body movements • Appropriately respond to other’s use of these cues
Eye Contact • Respond appropriately to other’s eye contact • Use eye contact appropriate to the situation (rather than avoiding eye contact or using it inconsistently)
Gestures / Body Posture Body language (posture) can be consistent with the message & enhance it, or inconsistent and confuse the message • Use gestures & body postures appropriate to the person, setting, and communication • Accurately “read” and respond to other’s use of body language
Facial Expression Facial expressions, such as a frown or smile, are nonverbal forms of communication • Use facial expressions • Consistent with their verbal message • Appropriate for the setting • Accurately “read” & respond to other’s use of facial expressions
Proximity / Distance Proximity refers to the distance one stands from another • Awareness of other’s personal space • Maintain appropriate distance from others • Adjust distance from others in response to their behavior • Differential use of personal space with family, friends, others • Adjust use of personal space for different settings
Physical Contact Use of touch as a means of communication & to influence the behavior of others • Use touch to facilitate communication • Use common forms of physical contact to communicate with others • “High fives” with a peer • Avoid physical contact with another’s private body parts • Response to touch is appropriate to person and context
Functional Analysis • Social • Cognitive • Behavioral
Problem Identification Assess Level of Emotional Arousal CognitiveDifficulties BehavioralDifficulties Self-ControlDifficulties Self-Monitoring CognitiveDistortion? Appropriate Social Skills? AppropriateSelf-ControlSkills? Self-Evaluation CognitiveRestructuring Social SkillsTraining YES NO NO Self-Reinforcement NO YES YES Self-Instruction Self-InstructionTraining Level of Response Contingent Reinforcement Problem-SolvingDeficit? Re-examineProblem EnvironmentalManipulation YES LOW ProblemSolvingTraining HIGH NO THE LEARNING CLINIC
Appropriate Social Skills • Does the child have the appropriate social skills needed to interact in an acceptable social manner? • Have they been able to pick up social cues throughout their lives to learn socially acceptable behavior? • Do they have the cognitive and language processing abilities to assimilate the knowledge of socially acceptable behaviors?
Level of Response-Contingent Reinforcement? • What is the student’s level of response to reinforcement contingencies? • Avoid response-cost systems • Does the environment reinforce the correct targeted behavior? • If not, what behavior does it reinforce?
Cognitive Distortion • Does the student have the ability to reflect and evaluate his/her behavior? = cognitive deficit • Does the student have maladaptive or dysfunctional thinking patterns; or do they perceive situations and are unable to evaluate the situation with an accurate perspective?= cognitive distortion
Problem-Solving Deficit? • Does the student have the problem-solving and organizational skills needed to solve problems? • Can the student accurately read context cues and adjust his/her behavior accordingly? • Does the student have the ability to identify ineffective strategies? • Does the student have the ability to effectively apply the correct strategy?
Self-Control • Does the student have impulse control? • Does the student remember previously stated rules, direction, and rehearsal? • Is the student able to learn to self-regulate? • Is the student able to perform skills with cues? • Is the student able to perform appropriate learned skills without prompt from cues?
Social Pragmatics GroupCurriculum Interventions for practical application THE LEARNING CLINIC
Pragmatics of social interaction & communication objectives • Personal space & boundaries • Full range of emotions • Verbal & nonverbal communication • Emotions associated with nonverbal communication • Tone and pitch • Volume • “Messages” connoted by nonverbal communication • Cue reading • Topics of conversation • Entry and exit skills of communication • Give and receive feedback • Seek feedback
Format for Sessions • Define the skills and give examples • Discuss - facilitate group discussion to help students understand how the skill is used in everyday life. • How does the presence or absence of the skill impactone’s life? • What are opportunities to use the skill? • Exercise and Videotape - involve the students in an activity to practice the skill • View the videotape and provide opportunity for peer and staff verbal feedback
Demonstrate an understanding of personal space & boundaries • Define: Personal space • Discuss: Appropriate distance (about one arm’s length)
Exercise and Videotape: Role-play situations in which students attend to personal space in a group situation. Students practice adjusting their distance from others. • Meeting someone for the first time • Talking with other students at school • Approaching a store clerk to ask a question • View videotape and feedback: • Visual feedback - each student views and evaluates own performance • Verbal feedback - peers provide feedback
Demonstrate the ability to identify a full range of emotions • Define: Different types and degree/levels of emotions and difference between obvious and subtle emotions • Discuss: Help make a chart of the full range of emotions. Each student must give an example of the emotion they identify.
Exercise and Videotape: Students demonstrate how they look when they experience that emotion. • View videotape and feedback: • Visual feedback - each student views their own performance: What did they do well? What could have been done better? • Verbal feedback - peers provide feedback
Additional Interventions • Pantomime • Contracting & self-assessments • Cognitive behavioral therapy • Dyadic sessions
Social Skills Training Pragmatic Skill Assessment Pragmatic Skills Training AS Functional Analysis Cognitive Behavioral Interventions Assessment through Intervention