Topic: Teaching Social Skills

I have a couple of new Aspergers teens in my practice. One does not have much interest in making friends, and actually has quite a set of “imaginary” friends. She is resistant to learning social skills and making new friends, but her her aunt (her legal guardian would like her to attend counseling every week. Should I try to motivate this young lady to forge new friendships? Donna T. – Social Skills Central member

There are many reasons why teens with Asperger Syndrome may not be interested in making friendships. Many teens on the Spectrum simply aren’t that connected to others, and don’t seem to have the same social needs as typical teens. Others may want to have friends and to be accepted by their peer group, but they may have been teased or bullied or failed at so many attempts to be social that they just aren’t motivated to pursue friendships. Whatever the reason for this teen’s lack of motivation, she will always live in a social world, and you should certainly work on helping her understand how to get along with others, which includes learning a variety of of social communication skills. Social skills groups are the best way to teach these skills if they are available.

Social Skills Central

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

jennifermcgee4 August 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I would find out what goals the young lady has. Perhaps it is related to her own interests, getting a job, getting along better with her aunt, etc. Then show her how learning a set of social skills can help her to meet her own goals, yet can be generalized to meet other settings and situations. I also sounds like she may be unaware of her own anxieties/stress and coping skills. These skills may help her cope as well.

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Charger November 12, 2014 at 10:19 am

Submitted by Aline Manzi, Millbrook, NYJan 17, 2011I cannot be prneest at your next public meeting, so I offer my questions about the wordings in your draft of the Vision Statement. The Statement requires careful attention to wordings so in future, as others take over the functions, nothing could be misinterpreted from the desires of the community currently designing the statement.These are the three points:Vibrant and Diverse Local Business (Product, services, jobs, support tax base) – This could be interpreted to mean people want the town to develop additional business hamlets and other commercial areas in the town. The Vision Statement list already mentions Millbrook Village as the commercial center of the town which is what most residents have already expressed as their desire.Carefully Managed Development Designed to Stabilize Your Taxes – The town Survey clearly showed that the majority of residents do not want “development” in the town. They prefer to keep Millbrook a rural community. Who would manage “development” and how would it possibly stabilize taxes? We are concerned why we have to keep repeatedly addressing the concept of development when it is not a priority of the majority of the people in this town.A Healthy Diversity of Housing Our village already provides us with a significant supply of diverse housing. The town Survey and subsequent meetings have shown that this kind of growth is not a priority to us. The inclusion of this statement would mean that our community wishes to declare, as part of its mandate for the future, a desire for the town to encourage housing growth. This could mean anything from town houses and condos, to high density tract development and manufactured homes, and everything in between. This inappropriate statement should not be in a vision statement for a community that hopes to remain rural.Do we want our taxes to increase? One item which is sorely missing from this list for the Vision Statement is the fiscal impact of any changes to the prneest status of the town. Growth does not pay for itself. High taxes are often the result. This important issue of financial responsibility, ignored in the vision statement to date, should be include. It is very important.Please remember that a Vision Statement is what the MAJORITY of the community wants for its future. It helps community leaders and planners develop the zoning regulations in the next step of the Comprehensive Plan Process. Let’s make sure that our town officials understand what kind of town we want in the future. It is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our families!

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