Do you have a child that struggles with perspective-taking, healthy social interactions, and being able to regulate their behaviors or emotions? Here at Lexis Prep, we provide an integrative and customized social skills program. We focus on social competencies, self regulation, and emotional control. These skills foster the development of social self-awareness, social-emotional understanding, and the ability to think critically. Read more to find out what resources we use and how you can adapt your program at home for your child.
We serve students with average-to-above average cognitive ability who learn differently. We have found that focusing early and often on social competencies is critical for our students’ lifelong success both socially and academically. Students receive instruction in Social Thinking from the school counselor, Jody Clark. Mrs. Clark teaches and models the competencies in “Social Thinking” for our K-8th graders in a specialized skills class.
In order to help our students succeed, we teach social awareness through a methodology called “Social Thinking.” Social Thinking was created by Michelle Garcia Winner and further developed with Dr. Pamela Crooke. This methodology helps students develop social competencies to better understand themselves and others, foster relationships, and make larger meaning of the social world. Social Thinking helps students to keenly observe the social world around them and figure out where they fit into it and how to best interact with others successfully.
Social Thinking helps students increase their self-awareness, self-monitoring, and self control in order to adapt their social skills to meet their social goals. Skills class helps students learn that their social behaviors impact how others feel about and treat them. We use tools such as roleplaying, games, and hands-on projects to supplement visual and auditory learning. This way, students have many opportunities to practice and produce the emotional experience they intend to have with others. Additionally, all educational and front office staff are trained to integrate “Social Thinking” into their classrooms and everyday conversations with students regardless of context.
Social Thinking skills are critical for life long learners and will transfer to any social setting including home and community. For our older students, we place a special emphasis on these skills as they apply to college, search for jobs, and plan for the next stage of their lives. When we teach our younger students social thinking, we rely heavily on lessons from Michelle Garcia Winner’s book: You are a Social Detective! The students learn to be Social Detectives by using their eyes, ears, brain, and heart to figure out expected behaviors in different social situations. We also use Superflex… A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum, which is a fun and motivational way to explore social thinking behavior. Finally, we use Leah M. Kuypers’ Zones of Regulation which is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control. Parents can also use these tools to supplement their children’s traditional academic programs with additional support for their social emotional needs.
by Jody Clark, Lexis Preparatory School, School Counselor
edited by Jaime Marie Estrada, Lexis Preparatory School, Teacher/Communications Specialist