|At Pediatric Speech and Language Specialists, we offer a variety of groups that target social language use, or pragmatics. Our groups target different skills based on the level of the children involved, from basic social skills up to Social Thinking® concepts. All children must go through a screening process to enable therapists to form groups of similar ages, skills, and needs. Groups meet one time per week for an hour or an hour-and-a-half, under the direction of a speech-language pathologist. During the last five to ten minutes of each session, a family information period is offered to educate parents about vocabulary and strategies that are being used/taught to improve their child’s pragmatic language skills. We focus on important skills such as;
- Identifying Expected vs. Unexpected Behaviors
- Increasing Self-awareness/Self-monitoring
- Perspective Taking
- Understanding Hidden Social Rules
- Reading Social Cues
- Entering and Leaving a Conversation / Group
- Active Listening
- Asking Initiating and Follow-Up Questions
- Making Supportive and Add-A-Thought Comments
- Maintaining Topics
- Appropriately Switching Topics
- Gauging the Length of Talk Time
- Using and Interpreting Nonverbal Communication
- Understanding and Using Slang and Nonliteral Language
|COOPERATION / GROUP WORK|
- Being a Good Leader/ Participant
- Reasoning and Problem Solving
- Planning and Sequencing Project Steps
- Time Management
For middle and high school students, we offer a Social Thinking® group, known as Teen Talk. This group meets for an hour and usually ranges in size from three to six teens with one speech-language pathologist. As with other groups, Teen Talk groups are divided based on skill levels of interested teenagers.
Teen Talk groups also focus on Social Thinking® concepts and "hidden" social rules. Each week new vocabulary and concepts are introduced. Then teens are provided with opportunities to practice social activities, such as conversations and group projects (e.g., video productions). Teenagers are taught the essential steps of having a conversation. In particular, they are taught to start by thinking about the people they are about to approach, including their likes and dislikes as well as the last thing they discussed. Next, they learn the importance of reading and using appropriate body positions when joining a group. Then, they are taught to use their eyes to think about others (i.e. to determine if others are listening/interested and to show that they are listening attentively). Finally, they practice initiating, maintaining, shifting, and closing topics of conversation. Self-monitoring and taking others' perspectives are also primary focuses of this group. As with younger groups, a new Social Thinking® vocabulary is introduced to help parents, therapists, and children communicate openly about social expectations and how they relate to others' thoughts and perspectives. This understanding is critical for creating and maintaining meaningful social relationships.
Call the PSLS office for our current schedule at (480) 991-6560.