Improvements for social skills therapies?

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Whale_Tuune
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02 Jul 2020, 9:51 am

In my experience, programs and therapy to help ASD people fit in socially are generally poor quality. They focus on scripted conversation, rote skills, and don't really get into the nuances of socialization as an adolescent and adult. (They also tend to be child-centric, as if none of us ever grow up.)

Does anyone have suggestions for social skill training and therapy that would be an improvement on what we have currently.


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LunaticCentruroides
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02 Jul 2020, 10:04 am

I do.

Even if that method may be questioned by some people. But it works…
It also may depend on if you're an overly shy person or not.
So I used to do it by my own, and still do it. It may sound a bit cruel, but I use other people to train my own social skills. Since you're a female, your ability to reflect yourself socially should be pretty high.
The more you experience in the "real world", the better you master your skills.



Whale_Tuune
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02 Jul 2020, 10:59 am

Can you elaborate on what you mean? Using others to train socially?


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firemonkey
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02 Jul 2020, 11:32 am

I first learnt how bad my social skills were in a letter to support a disability benefit claim . That was in my late 50s . I've had no help and support at all for it in the 44 years of being dxed with SMI.


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Whale_Tuune
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02 Jul 2020, 11:39 am

Exactly. The support systems are abysmal, and we're left to flounder. That's something that needs to change.


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LunaticCentruroides
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02 Jul 2020, 12:16 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
Can you elaborate on what you mean? Using others to train socially?


Hmm I’m actually unsure if I’m giving any useful advice here. I’m not necessarily recommending my path to other people on the spectrum, since my pathway included fair amounts of drugs and alcohol.

I actually remember having a coach when I was 21 and later on two other ones from 22 to 24. It was a 1-to-1 thing and they were all psychologist that were specified on Asperger. The second one was not so great, cause she was too old and didn't really understood, that I was intelligent enough. And the third one didn’t do much. The first one supported me through everything concerning my Asperger. She answered me every question I had about humans and all sorts of difficulties I went through at that age. It was the most helpful thing I could imagine. Plus, she was only like 7 years older than me, and that was decisive factor. Someone that would be too old, would be less helpful in that age range. (my opinion)
So perhaps in your area there’s something like that?


I’ve personally never been in a psychotherapy or anything else for my Asperger. I’ve never been in a group therapy either.



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02 Jul 2020, 6:31 pm

Guess the best thing I did was to improve at reading people. Just imagine being at their position and behaving just he same way. Ask yourself what feelings, intentions and emotions would cause you to behave just the same way. After some time you'll get a lot of what's up with them. 8O


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Minuteman
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03 Jul 2020, 5:41 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
Exactly. The support systems are abysmal, and we're left to flounder. That's something that needs to change.


The problem is all the support systems focus on kids. Once you hit 21, you're basically on your own.



Whale_Tuune
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05 Jul 2020, 4:19 pm

Even when I was a child and adolescent, my therapists literally never did anything to help me improve. In part it was their lack of perspective.

They only saw me once a week, for thirty minutes, talking about one subject (me). Me in normal teen group conversations, me in class, me out at the mall, me trying to be reciprocal, they saw none of. How could they know where I needed to improve? The whole system is flawed by design.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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05 Jul 2020, 4:29 pm

Acting lessons

Toastmasters



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07 Jul 2020, 10:21 am

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Acting lessons

Toastmasters


Not everyone can afford those things.

And on OP’s original point, I fully agree that today’s Autism Social Therapies are too child-focused and don’t include enough trainkng in the less obvious nuances of communication.


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Whale_Tuune
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07 Jul 2020, 12:20 pm

Does anyone have any ideas for improvements? How we would teach nuance to kids?


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kraftiekortie
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07 Jul 2020, 2:49 pm

Role-playing is one way.



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07 Jul 2020, 2:53 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
Does anyone have any ideas for improvements? How we would teach nuance to kids?

What are your problems? Most autists need to learn to read people better. Learn what empathy is and theory of mind and what's up with visual thinking once you are unable to it. Learn to keep kind of a good mood once you are with others and how to do eye contact. Care the eyes of other people as long as you get their imotions and thoughts from it. People won't ever change but most of us are able to improve at dealing with them. Become aware of your limits and find ways to improve. Learn to believe in your own power. Your brain isn't a static thing. It generates new neurons in areas that you are using more. For this you are able to learn and to improve also it comes to emotional stuff.


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kraftiekortie
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07 Jul 2020, 5:11 pm

I feel like people who are “in the loop” socially could assist those not so much socially “in the loop” through conveying their social experiences and answering whatever concerns arise without adopting a “superior” stance.

“Social skills” classes have little usefulness because “real life” is not often presented in these classes. Rather, “socially ideal situations” are presented which, if implemented by the students, would make them look rather ridiculous.



Whale_Tuune
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07 Jul 2020, 5:16 pm

Hopefully we could advocate for incorporating theory of mind and empathy building strategies in therapy rather than scripted lines?

And yes, peer supports are a good idea. I almost wen to a college which had that. Sigh... I'll speak to my SAS about that.

Social skills groups will also generally only include peers who are likewise challenged. So it's not all that good.


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