An evidence-based program that helps kids to build foundational social competencies
Posted Aug 4 2021
Difficulty in reading and understanding other people’s minds is a core cognitive feature of neurodiversity. Social situations are in perpetual motion and are… Never quite the same. Give too much eye contact and you come across as a bit intense (at best) or rude (at worst). It is a thin line between socially accepted behaviors and “inappropriate” ones!
Language — especially non-verbal — can be pretty ambiguous, leading to vagueness and confusion for many neurodivergent kids. At Marsden Psychology Clinic, our team of therapists uses the evidence-based We Thinkers! curricula from Social Thinking to help preschoolers develop their social skills.
We Thinkers! is for kids 4-7 years old and consists of ten core social concepts presented through a series of engaging and fun storybooks, such as Following the Group Plan, Hidden Rules, Expected and Unexpected Behaviors, and much more. These concepts teach kids social skills needed to be a successful participant amongst their peers.
During the session, kids can play out, literally and metaphorically, their personal experiences in a way that builds self-awareness and the ability to express, explore and resolve challenging thoughts and feelings. The curriculum is amazing, but we don’t always strictly follow it.
We are aware of the need to adapt therapeutic methods, the rhythm of learning, and means of engagement to the kid’s specific needs, strengths, and interests. Some kids devour every storybook they can lay their hands on, some prefer role-playing with dough, and that’s okay! We Thinkers! is based on the idea that learning should be interactive, flexible, and playful.
To better grasp what the curriculum is all about, let’s have a look at this case study.
Tom is a 7-year-old boy diagnosed with ASD. He is in year 2, in a support class. Once a week, Tom meets with his Therapy Assistant at school to develop his social skills. Together, they work through each of the stories and complete a variety of activities and games that reinforced the content.
These new skills have supported Tom to overcome some of the social challenges that he was having at school, such as being able to follow a group plan. Tom’s parents and teachers are given the vocabulary used during the session so that everyone is on board! School observations, parent sessions, and case conferences occur as required to assist the Psychologist and Therapy Assistant with tracking progression.
If you would like to learn more about the We Thinkers! curriculum, please talk to your kid’s psychologist or contact our Clinic. We’re here to help!
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