Monday, April 12, 2010

Social Thinking

In my recent Internet travels, I came across a link to Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking website ( Dr. Garcia Winner has long worked with children, adolescents and adults with social communication issues and is the author of several books and other published resources. Her website and the information it provides stress the idea that “Social thinking is required prior to the development of social skills.” Social thinking refers to the ability to take an active part in a dialog, after a quick, nearly instantaneous consideration of “the points of view, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, prior knowledge and intentions of others.”

While this is ingrained for neuro-typical people, it is far from intuitive for people with social communication disorders. My son is not great at contributing to a conversation with peers, but he has gotten better at listening and determining an appropriate comment. However, I believe that he would still need coaching in order to walk into an establishment, ask if they might be hiring and fill out a job application.

I was hoping that coaching might come from the Best Buddies organization. Not surprisingly, they are swamped with requests. However, his contact there sent my son information about a summer camp that might be hiring. The camp is aimed toward helping children with learning and/or intellectual disabilities become more self confident, through drama and play. I suggested that he had nothing to lose by completing and mailing the application. He has the advantage of being a young adult who has coped with similar challenges, and he has a lot of experience working on theater productions, both onstage and backstage.

Short of this camp, there are a lot of establishments in our community that might be taking applications for summer employment. I think with a little direction, he can land something. And Plan B – if he does not get a job, he’ll have more time to concentrate on getting his drivers license!

No comments: