Parents often report during our initial phone call that their to us that their son has been in social skills groups but did not seem to benefit from them. This is understandable as most social skills groups use a “one size fits all” approach where students are grouped together regardless of their particular social learning needs or cognitive profile. In these groups they often learn scripted behaviors and overly formal etiquette that are not natural to the way boys communicate with each other.
What is most significant is that social skills groups do not teach boys how to naturally relate with their similar-age male peers. The majority of people who teach social skills are women who (understandably) never experienced being part of a male peer group as a child or teenager.
As the only social skills programs in the United States that are designed specifically for boys diagnosed with ADHD or learning disabilities and taught from a male perspective we teach boys how to authentically relate and connect with their similar-age male peers.
Improving social competency and self-confidence develops from learning how to successfully be part of a male peer group and understanding the give and take required in male friendships. Families comes to us from throughout the area because of our highly skilled approach to working specifically with boys and young men.
Common social characteristics of the individuals who come to our social skills programs:
- Relates better to younger children and adults than their similar-age peers
- Can be impulsive when around peers because of their desire for acceptance
- Appears to prefer video games/internet to socializing with peers
- Tries to control unstructured social/play situations or “police” other kids
- Have difficulty understanding how they come across to others
- Struggles with understanding other’s thoughts, feelings and intentions
- Tends to have one-sided conversations about topics of interest to them
- Has difficulty showing other boys that they want to be friends
- Avoids social situations with peers
- Has difficulty starting conversations with peers or entering groups
- Consistently seeks acceptance from peers who are not interested in them
- Does not socialize with peers outside of school or structured activities
- Had friends in elementary school but became more socially isolated upon entering middle school
- Has attended social skills groups where they were considered the “highest functioning” member of the group
At Center for ADHD our programs are based on the Social Thinking® methodology. Pioneered by world renowned expert Michelle Garcia Winner, Social Thinking builds the fundamental skills that we all need to function socially, such as perspective-taking, reading nonverbal cues and learning how to be cognitively flexible.
Ryan Wexelblatt, Center for ADHD Director has completed more training in using the Social Thinking methodology than any social skills provider throughout the Philadelphia area and Southern New Jersey. He received a Social Thinking® Clinical Training Level 1 Certificate of Completion and applies the framework to our different programs.
Some of the skills we cover include:
– Understanding how you come across to others and understanding others’ thoughts, feelings and intentions
– Learning how to show an interest in others
– Developing situational awareness (reading a room)
– Learning how to ‘go with the flow’ for the sake of others
– Managing social anxiety around similar-age peers
– Moving friendships beyond “lunch table friends” to outside of school friends -Unlearning “social skills” that sound awkward to similar-age boys and learning natural sounding male-male social communication
Please note that while we evaluate all prospective students on a case by case basis, our social skills programs are not designed for individuals with an autism diagnosis.
Our current social skills programs for boys
If you are new to Center for ADHD please contact us to set up an intake evaluation. We look forward to getting to know your family.