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Social Cognitive Strategies™

For most of us, interacting with others seems to come naturally. However, students with social challenges often lack the ability to think through and succeed in daily social situations. For these individuals, “social thinking” must be learned and practiced. Research has identified a 75% co-occurrence of social communication difficulties in children with learning disabilities (Forness and Kavale, 1996).

Social Cognitive Strategies™ at Cambridge School

Because Cambridge School is a school for children with language-based learning disabilities, we believe that a strong social skills curriculum is critical. While there is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching social skills, evidence shows that a toolbox of approaches can be effective (Baker, 2010), with 12 widely-accepted approaches in the field today. The Social Cognitive Strategies™ program…

  • Is designed to be individually tailored to the needs of each student, incorporating the best treatment methodologies
  • Utilizes evidence-based social instruction for our students, providing significant improvements in both self-esteem and knowledge of social skills
  • Calls on students to use higher-level cognitive strategies in order to improve their social skills — understand the “why” and “how”  that motivates socialization
  • Targets “generalization” as the highest goal of the therapy. By offering students this service in a school setting, skills can quickly be applied to daily life, allowing students to see that they can utilize the skills they learn in any environment

The program brings together students of similar ages and abilities for weekly sessions to work on:

  • Non-verbal communication
  • Initiating conversations and small-talk
  • Problem-solving and negotiating
  • How their behavior impacts others
  • Emotional regulation and self-control
  • Group dynamics and how to “fit in”
  • Understanding abstract language
  • Thinking flexibly
  • Perspective taking
  • Understanding hidden social rules
  • Executive function skills implicit in socialization

Groups of three to six students meet for 45 minutes, once a week, under the direction of Alicia Parson, M.S., CCC-SLP, a speech and language pathologist who has extensive training in social skills programs.

Contact us to Learn More

For more information on Social Cognitive Strategies™, please contact Alicia Parson.

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