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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

15 yr old & social problems


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted May 28, 2001 at 5:14:11 PM
Subject: 15 yr old & social problems

Looking for advice on dealing with our 15 yr old daughter. Her social skills in many situations are that of an 8 yr old. This has come out through recent testing from a psychologist. We are not new to LD or to some social problems due to it. Out of 4 children, 3 of ours are LD. But our other two were, and seem, able to deal with the social issues. Our daughter at times seems to have no concept of situations, conversations, appropriate behavior or consequences. She is in resource classes, sees the guidance counsellor, we are looking for an appropriate private counsellor. She is about to enter high school and both we and the school have some serious concerns. Also just so you are aware we live in Canada and the education system here is quite different. If anyone has some advice we would greatly appreciate it. Will check back here soon.

Thanks,
Bev

P.S. We have tried every kind of community group activity (i.e. brownies, dancing, gymnastics etc.) to assist her in learning social activity and behavior. She has never stayed with any of them for long.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 01, 2001 10:50:43 AM

I expect your daughter would benefit from group therapy in a girls group that specifically addresses social skills: teaches them and practices them. My 10 year old has done several of these groups, but I don't know if they are as available for older kids. Her groups have been led by (variously) a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a social worker. Frequently the kids are ADHD and need lots of help with curbing impulsive behavior, seeing how their actions effect others, etc. Kids like my daughter with non-verbal learning disability miss all the social cues because they don't "read" non-verbals (tone of voice, facial expression, body language, etc.). They are greatly handicapped socially because of this, but can LEARN to recognize a lot. There are a lot of other issues that can interfere with social skills as well (auditory processing, slow visual or auditory processing, executive function disorder which brings rigid, literal, inflexible thinking: so shifting gears in fast paced fluid social interactions is difficult, etc.). Remediating as many of the other LD related issues can help socially.

You may have to make lots of phone calls to find a girls group. Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 03, 2001 4:38:09 PM

Barbara,
What more do you know about executive functioning deficits? My 19-year-old daughter has several learning/mental health issues but the one I find the least information on is the executive functioning deficits. Any help you could give would be most appreciated.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 05, 2001 11:06:26 AM

This is definitely hard to understand and get info on. The best "lay person's" explanations I have found are in the book The Explosive Child, by Ross Greene. Very worth the $ for all the down to earth practical explanations of what is going on in the brain and what it means and what we can do about it.

I know that exec. functioning has to do with organizing, planning, thinking ahead, monitoring behavior so that you can flexibly respond, think on your feet, etc. It has a lot to do with being able to "shift gears" (or not) between one activity/idea/ focus to the next -- which is why transitions are so extraordinarily difficult for my kid -- even with adequate warning.

I don't really know how we remediate this (if much at all). My 5h grader is on adderall for ADD which helps. We will have an "organizational tutor" next year -- for school and possible for home. A lot of basic organizational skills can be taught. She has a number of other related issues (non-verbal learning disorder) which make it all quite complex, particularly because, at age 10, she doesn't appear that different than other kids. And she's very bright and compensates a lot.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 11, 2001 6:56:56 PM

Dear Bev:

I have found in my profession that many individuals with a learning disabilty have difficulty with displaying appropriate social skills. I am a high school special education teacher. The majority of my students are 9th graders and are served in the resource setting. Many of my students also seemed to have no concept of situations, appropriate behaviors/manners, or consequenses for their actions. I have also found that the transition from middle school to high school is often a difficult one for a great deal of students, particularly students who are served in special education. I feel that you have tried some excellent community activities to help promote positive social skills. Here are some strategies that you may find useful. Whenever teaching ANY type of behavior modification, you must always remember to be consistent. If you are going to praise/reward her for positive behaviors, . . .be consistent. When corrections, or punishments are required, . . . be consistent. In my behavior modification classes back in college, I learned that the behavior often times gets worse before it gets better. I have found this to be true in my classes as well. The appropriate behaviors may be taught through modeling, (by a parent/teacher), role play exercises, and even trial and error. I would suggest that you identify one specific problem and work on that problem until she has reached the desired behavior. Help your daughter understand that there are REAL CONSEQUENCES FOR EVERY DECISION (GOOD AND POOR ONES). As you already know, this is not a problem that will go away over night. I hope that my advice is of some help to you. Here is a websight that you might not of run across. Maybe it will help as well. (www.abcparenting.com.) This sight has links to helping parents deal with problem behaviors, as well as many other helpful resources.
Sincerely,
Jimmy

P.S. I would continue to look for community activities that your daughter may find interesting. Some of these activities may range from church/youth groups to trying J.R.O.T.C. in high school. I have found both of these to be great atmospheres that promote positive social behaviors. The more exposure to situations the better.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 12, 2001 10:19:53 AM

Don't give up. Keep finding activies for her . Find a buddy who is intrested in playing with her one on one for short periods of time. Just talking or whatever shes interested in. Maybe someone who is just a little older. Is there a University near you? A colledge student who may be in education or phsy. Explain,explain,explain the socials rules to her .

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 14, 2001 8:29:05 PM

I too have a daughter with severe social skill problems. She is almost 14, has been diagnosed with non-verbal learning disorder this past February, and was placed in the Resource Room. She has now become an "A" student and her social skills are starting to improve. However, we do work with her everyday on facial expressions, gestures, and postures. I purchased a wonder book called "Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success, " Peachtree Publishing Co. It's a wonderful handbook for parents to help their children recognize social situations that are necessary to get along in this world. I also found a Social Success Program at a nearby college for her to attend for a week this summer. Check around in your area for any social skill programs, colleges, counseling centers, etc. It's very hard to teach your child skills that we take for granted.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 19, 2001 2:36:10 PM

Bev,
The idea presented by TJ is a great one and worth looking into. I'm a university student working towards my BEd with a minor in Learning Disabilities and one of my teachers recommended me to work with a girl who sounds very similar to your daughter. I see her once a week and we try and do "normal" things a 15 year old would do. I try and get her to be more comfortable in social situations and point out things that she does which are "wrong". I think she is more keen to listen to what I am saying then an adult because I am closer to her age, but old enough that I'm an authority figure to her. I have been working with this girl for 10 months now and although you can't see a change in her from day to day over the past ten months she has grown up considerably. We still have a long ways to go though.
I'm at Simon Fraser University (in BC) and I'm sure a university in your area would be able to set you up with a similar thing. Contact, as TJ suggested, the Education Department. If there is anything I can help you with feel free to email me: rprescot@sfu.ca Best wishes!
Rebecca

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jun 23, 2001 7:22:24 AM

<< I have also found that the transition from middle school to high school is often a difficult one for a great deal of students, particularly students who are served in special education. >>

All the more reason why there should be a carefully planned out coordination between middle school and high school when the high school IEP is developed.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Jul 19, 2001 1:45:08 PM

Who says there shouldn't? There should ALWAYS be transitioning from one program to the next, and from middle school to high school is no exception! This is necessary not only for the student, but for the teacher(s) and parents as well.

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