Social Skills

Social language and social skills

We offer sessions to children who demonstrate challenges with the social use of language and connecting with their peers.  This may or may not include children who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 1-3, Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Social Communication Disorder or Non-Verbal Learning Disorder.  ​We offer services for children who are between 3 - 12 years of age. 


Does your child experience challenges with language development and social skills?  Are you interested in finding out more about your child's stage of play?  We offer assessments for play development, social referencing and regulation.


​​Does your child exhibit strong language skills, but still demonstrates challenges connecting with peers, initiating conversation and working as a solid group member?  Then following a Social Thinking framework may be for you.


We offer Social Thinking ® sessions that follow the framework and concepts created by Michelle Garcia Winner M.S. CCC-SLP and the Zones of Regulation (Leah Kuypers M.A., Ed, OTR/L). You can learn more at Social Thinking ® and Zones of Regulation. 

Social Thinking Assessment

Social Thinking Assessment

 

The Informal Social Thinking Dynamic Assessment Protocol (ISTDAP), developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, is a means of identifying and quantifying in real-time a student's social competencies as well as connecting the dots between a student's social learning abilities and possibly related academic strengths and weaknesses. The ISTDAP is not intended to be a diagnostic tool; instead it's to be used with people who have already been identified as having a social skills problem but the team is unclear where to start in the treatment process or how deeply they are impacted socially.


Our Social Thinking Assessments are offered as a bundle which includes:

- two in-clinic visits

- two parents consultations over the phone

- review of psychology reports and parent questionnaires

- report (if desired).


Please contact Briar Cipryk, if you are interested in a Social Thinking Assessment.

Individual Sessions

Individual Sessions

 

Social Thinking Individual Sessions


Sometimes children benefit from Social Thinking strategies, however, they are not quite ready to practice the skills within a group.  We offer individual sessions to continue to help children improve their social thinking skills.


Parents are an integral part of these sessions - we encourage all parents to participate in order to best understand the framework and vocabulary that we teach.  


Examples of targets that may be appropriate for 1:1 sessions include:

- teaching students the relationship between thoughts and emotions

- help students understand that their actions cause a reaction/emotion in their friends.  

- what is uncomfortable and comfortable thoughts? How does this relate to expected and unexpected behaviours and drive connections with friends?

- teaching strategies to build perspective taking skills

- teaching and discussion about the hidden rules in social environements; understanding the expected and unexpected behaviours

- teaching students how to work along side a partner to share and build upon a play idea teaching students how to manage classroom blurting

- teaching students how to handle the "boring moments"

- teaching strategies to help students explore how to ask for help 

- teaching strategies to help students initiate play and conversation

- teaching strategies to help understand how facial expression, body language and tone of voice contribute to our spoken messages

- teaching the idea that conversation is based on perspectives; the questions and comments asked are based on our relationships and interests.

- teaching strategies to identify the size of the problem; does your reaction match the size of the problem?


The outlined goals for individual sessions are very personal and will be created after the completion of an appropriate assessment of social thinking and language.  Parent input and feedback regarding goals is valued.


Group Sessions

Group Sessions

 

Social Thinking Groups


​WHO: Our social groups are offered for children ages 4-9 years of age who demonstrate challenges with social development. Children are matched based on age, developmental level and needs. We are very committed to ensuring group partners matched appropriately so optimal social learning and social thinking can occur. A group will never consist of more than 5-6 children. Groups are organized and lead by Speech-Language Pathologist, Briar Cipryk, who has a keen interest in social thinking and obtained her clinical training certificate in 2016 while attending the Boston Social Thinking clinic.

Is your child a candidate for a Social Thinking ® Group? (Yes-if any of the following are present):


My child has solid language skills with near normal verbal intelligence, but:

- Does not initiate appropriate social interactions or sustain social interactions

- Has difficulty co-operating and negotiating in groups

- ​Has difficulty attending in large groups; needs more direction

- Does not easily process the meaning of spoken messages

- Does not observe/take into account other’s social cues (i.e. facial expressions, body language) due to limited referencing of peers and surroundings

- Is limited in the ability to infer meaning, problem solve and predict academically and socially

- Is very literal in interpretation of all materials 

- Has difficulty recognizing and incorporating other person’s perspectives to help regulate social relationships.

- Has difficulty talking about other people’s topics of interest

- Tends to over focuses on details or topics of interest

- Attends to details, but misses the underlying concept of assignments/stories/pictures

- Has a good sense of humor, but may miss the subtleties of humor.

- May not understand the difference of being laughed at or laughed with

- Doesn’t understand when” too much” humor is “too much”​ ​​


WHAT: Our Social Thinking groups focus on vocabulary and concepts created by Michelle Garcia Winner M.S. CCC-SLP and Leah Kuypers M.A., Ed, OTR/L. You can learn more at Social Thinking  and Zones of Regulation


The SLP conducting group will meet with your child to determine goals for each session.  Parent input is highly valued. Goals are created to be functional and meaningful to each child and his/her family. 


​Group is an opportunity for children to learn new concepts and social thinking tools; it is important to us that parents are also involved in their child's learning.  10 minute consultations are provided to parents following each group session.  Take home activities are provided to facilitate social thinking outside of our group setting. 

Here are just a FEW examples of topics taught during sessions:

  • Thinking thoughts and Feeling Feelings.  Our brain is our thought maker and our heart feels feelings.
  • Helping children to learn that their actions cause a reaction/feeling in their peers and family.
  • Thinking with your eyes - learn how to be a detective!
  • The power of the Group Plan!
  • Expected and Unexpected behaviours.
  • Stuck Thoughts - how to identify them, learn how they might make peers and family feel, learn how to be flexible.
  • Size of the Problem - matching your reaction to the size of the problem
  • Sharing an Imagination 

WHEN:   We offer this program three times a year for three different age groups.  Our Junior Smarts program is children ages 4-6 who have had no or limited exposure to the Social Thinking Concepts.  Our Senior Smarts program is for children 7-8 and 9-11 years of age who have had previous exposure to the Social Thinking Concepts.  Group matches are based on language and cognitive skill set.  


- Fall start:  September 

- Winter start:  January 
​- Spring start: May

Social Thinking Spring 2018

Our Spring Social Thinking Groups are now full.  Are you interested in our fall groups?  Call us now to express interest.  Registration will open in August 2018.

 Is your treatment team teaching the strategies for Social Thinking as Michelle Garcia Winner has intended them to be taught?  Here are some questions to ask your service provider .