From the Clinic (April 2019)

posted Mar 29, 2019, 7:49 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Indy is an enjoyable 15 year old boy who has been seen at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic secondary to delays with pragmatics and social communication. Pragmatics is one of the five areas of language development that helps us navigate our relationships with others, regulate ourselves to our environment, and maintain attention so that we can learn new things and interact appropriately with others. Indy participates in our “Social Thinking” program to learn social executive functioning skills, which helps our students learn how to collaborate with others and problem solve through situations using a variety of strategies.  The “Social Thinking” program is based on extensive research from Michelle Garcia Winner, a renowned Speech and Language Pathologist, who has studied social thinking and how best to help children who have difficulty navigating their social interactions at home, school and in the community.

Indy has been working on utilizing key concepts to practice his social executive functioning skills such as, following the group plan, thinking with his eyes, keeping his body in the group, using whole body listening, understanding hidden rules and expected and unexpected behavior, making smart guesses verses wacky guesses, using flexible thinking verses stuck thinking, understanding the size of the problem, and sharing an imagination.  Social communication and social executive functioning skills help us participate in group activities and to interact with others in a way that helps everyone feel comfortable.  Teaching these concepts has helped Indy relate to others using empathic thinking and perspective taking, two skills which relate to early developing skills for language and cognition, central coherence, joint attention and intention, emotional regulation, self-regulation and theory of mind. Without these basic building blocks a person will have difficulty collaborating, negotiating, and learning as part of a group.

Indy’s mom has seen an improvement in Indy’s social thinking skills since treatment was initiated. She stated, “Speech at Scottish Rite has been great. Rachel has a deep understanding of his needs in social/behavioral speech and has provided excellent tools to take home and share at school.” She further commented that the therapy Indy has received has been “wonderfully effective” and “fantastic”. 

Indy has made great progress understanding and using many of these concepts during our therapy time. And his mother is introducing the key concepts to Indy’s teachers at school to help carryover his skills outside of our therapy time together. I am particularly proud of his Indy’s perseverance and I am looking forward to continuing our learning time together!