NOTES ON RUNNING A SOCIAL SKILLS PROGRAM
by Wendy Lawson
- Identify the triggers or what causes the behaviors to occur and try to modify them where possible.
- Need to systematically teach strategies to use when a child is faced with those situations and /or feelings.
SOCIAL SKILLS SESSIONS
2-3 sessions per week
Small group - child and 3 class peers (good role models)
Hitting other students / adults
Pushing roughly Throwing sticks and other objects
Swearing Running off with others ball
- Prioritize list and choose one
- Small group session - students to act out the actual situation
Why do you think it happened?
How did you feel when it happened?
What else could have been (a) said (b) done?
- Practice, rehearse and role play the appropriate responses that have been suggested
- Use video camera to reinforce the auditory and visual message
"I need help"
- Develop a script of "say and do" strategies to learn and practice (perhaps keep in a small book or on a card to go in his pocket). These are safety phrases that need to be constantly reinforced
Sample phrases such as:
"I don't understand"
"If I start feeling hot in the head I will count to ten under my breath"
- Whatever skills being focused on there must be opportunities for practice in class and playground
- Should the child make any attempt to use a skill it should be praised
- Some type of reward system would intensify motivation to try
- After play ask the child how things went and get the child's and others perception of what happened.
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS - PEER SUPPORT
- Meet regularly every week and follow up on the skills session
- Discuss the safety phrases - get input form all in the circle
When they would use them
How to use them - stand still, face the person,
Look at them and say I'm sorry
- Use the students to get ideas for the child to use
- Ask them to think of some ways they could use to help the child if they see something is happening
- Introduce some potential problem situations that you know will come up for the child
- Ask the circle to come up with solutions of how they may solve them
e.g. "What would you do if you lost your canteen money?"
"What would you do if a teacher accused you of doing something that you hadn't done?"
"What would you say if you accidentally hurt someone?"
© Wendy Lawson 1998
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