Social skills for success



For many years our Founder Lauren worked with children with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. In her work as a sexual and reproductive health educator, one of her roles was managing a social skills framework called SoSAFE, which was designed as an abuse prevention tool for people with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and peoples on the autism spectrum. It categorises the people in one’s life and then gives a framework of talk and touch boundaries which people can live by to ensure they understand what is ok and not ok when it comes to socialising with the different people in their lives. As part of this work she discovered a book by Susan Diamond called Social Rules for Kids – The Top 100 social rules kids need to succeed and after reading it cover to cover decided that this is such an important book and teaches such critical skills for survival and it’s not out there because everyone lives in a digital world, so she decided to work with Chuka, an intern at the time from Mongolia to develop a series of 100 videos to accompany Susan’s book, so that people who had a preference for visual learning or learning from the digital space would also have access to learning these skills. One of the most significant problems for people on the autism spectrum is difficulty in social interaction. The level of difficulty can be very severe (as it usually is for people with no spoken language) or relatively mild. Even neuro-typical people and people who have experienced trauma may have mild-moderate difficulties with social communication, however, can lead to major problems with relationships, school, and employment. Social skills are important for building relationships, making friends and learning. With time and support, autistic children can develop social skills. Strategies like role-play and video-modelling can help autistic children develop social skills. Living through the digital wave and now with the covid-19 pandemic, there are so many challenges to learn how to socialise appropriately and of course there’s reduced opportunity to socialise which makes it even harder for people to practice social interactions. We hope to use these videos to support people in learning the rules and boundaries when it comes to interacting with other people in their lives to ensure we’re contributing as best we can to creating inclusive communities that support people who find it difficult to read social norms.

Teaching people the social rules and social skills and to survive in the social world around us.