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Social Skills Training for Adolescents with General Moderate Learning Difficulties

Social Skills Training for Adolescents with General Moderate Learning Difficulties

Fiona Ross | Ursula Cornish



Following the success of their many years' social skills work with children and adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and other moderate learning difficulties, Ursula Cornish and Fiona Ross have compiled a set of imaginative training sessions and workshops for teachers. Based on a multi-sensory cognitive-behavioural approach, the sessions cover pre- and post-intervention evaluation schedules, interview and observation tools, and specification of materials that can be used and adapted by teachers.

With direct links to the four main stages of development at Key Stages 3 and 4 of the National Curriculum, especially PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education), the training sessions form an effective tool to help teenagers develop skills in social interaction, communication and conflict resolution and to build their confidence and self-esteem. The ten detailed session plans incorporate role play, discussion and rehearsal to equip participants with the ability to interpret other people's body language, control their own feelings, express views, ask for support and show concern for others.

Educators, parents and carers of adolescents with Asperger Syndrome, general learning difficulties or other behavioural problems will welcome this book's practical examples and useful tips on how to set up and run social skills development groups.

This book is based on the authors' (successful) work changing adolescents' behaviour. Primarily aimed at teachers setting up Social Skills Training sessions for 13-17 year olds (with references to KS3 and KS4 National Curriculum), it still has much to offer parents, especially those who home educate. Even if you don't want to complete the Social Skills checklist, it's a reminder of skills which medical professionals often ask about (eg: "Makes appropriate eye contact") and the Possible Questions for Parents could highlight areas to work on. The ten sessions of the training programme make up most of the book: starting with "Listening and Paying Attention", it goes through controlling feelings, body language, resolving conflict, recognizing strengths and more.
Education Otherwise
a useful guide for teachers and group leaders which is flexible enough to be used in many different ways.
Good Autism Practice
Ursula Cornish is a senior educational psychologist and family therapist who has worked extensively with people with autism and Asperger Syndrome as well as helping families and school pupils come to terms with loss, trauma and stress. Fiona Ross has seven years' experience as an educational psychologist in inner-city schools in Britain and the US, providing training to school staff and both individual counselling and group-based social skills training for students.
The authors are clinical psychologist who have been working with adolescents with moderate learning difficulties in a special school for several years. The focus of their work was on developing Social Skills Training (SST) to enable the students to understand and manage social situations better so that they might be included in mainstream schools.
Support for Learning
This publication is aimed primarily at teaching staff, and links to the four main stages of development at Key Stage 3 and 4 of the national curriculum, especially PHSE. However, the training sessions and workshops are likely to interest social care staff, and parents or carers as well... the material is clearly and accessibly presented.
Care &Health Magazine
The book provides useful information on how to do a basic evaluation to the individual's strengths and weaknesses in the area of social skills. The course is split into 10 'lessons'. Topics have been linked closely with PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) at key stages 3 and 4 of the National Curriculum. A useful resource for parents of children where the school is willing to allocate time for a social skills group.