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 environments
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.
Alicia Parson, CCC-SLP
Director of Speech and Language Pathology and Social Cognitive Strategies Specialist
- Years at Cambridge School – 8
- PROMPT trained
- Lindamood-Bell® trained in LiPS® and Visualizing Verbalizing®
- Trained in basic Story Grammar Marker® methodology
- Extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of pediatric speech and language disorders.
- Social Skills/Social Communication
- Social Cognitive Strategies (incorporates Social Thinking®)
- DIR/Floortime (Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship Based Treatment)
- Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) training and certification
- Expert Witness in Special Education Law cases in New Jersey
- M.S. Speech – Language Pathology
- NJ State SLP Certification
- ASHA awards for Continuing Education
The Solutions Corner™
Welcome to our Solutions Corner™! The aim of our “Corner” is to offer students solutions to choose from to address situations that they have submitted to the Solutions Mailbox. Every week, one of the issues or questions found in the Solutions Mailbox is presented to the Social Cognitive Strategies students. Students then use problem-solving and critical thinking to find multiple solutions to various real-life social issues experienced in daily life. Once each student has given their input, their responses are combined into a blog post discussing their suggestions for the student body to read. Click the button below to read the Solutions Corner™ and enjoy!
– Alicia Parson, Social Cognitive Strategies Specialist