Social Skills Education – how about an inclusive version?

This post was written as a response to a post on LinkedIn titled:

How do you make social skills exciting, fun, and instructional at the same time?

[ Totally behind wanting the joy of “shared play” to happen. But after reading the thoughts of autistic adults on the subject of “social skills groups”, I felt it needed to be said. ]

What I think would be great is if we taught ALL children how to socialize. “typical” children seem to learn through “osmosis” – but the issue here is WHAT and WHERE they are learning. Bullying, for instance, is a GENERATIONAL issue. Adults bully, each other, and their children. So typical kids learn this.

How can we make this happen? How do we get away from the “let them work it out” attitude – that basically isn’t helpful with little kids because they don’t have any EXPERIENCE to work it out from.

How do we teach non-autistic kids to not be jerks to other kids who are different from them? We spend so much time trying to make autistic children seem “less autistic”, when adult autistic people are telling us how not-helpful this is.

Knowing the “rules” of “typical social interaction” is good and definitely helpful and useful – because the greater population operates by them. But it takes a TON of energy to “act typical” – energy that would be better used by the autistic person for other things.

How do we update our “social skills training” to be useful in a way that allows people to accept and understand others, period?

Still Don’t Grasp the Social Model of Disability? Try DST!

Dani Alexis

Daylight Saving Time is quite possibly the best real-world example of how the social model of disability works that I have yet seen, as this past weekend has painfully reminded me.

Like a lot of people, I spend a week or more after the time change dragged out, sleeping poorly, unproductive, and with wildly varying moods.  Even people who don’t consciously notice the difference to their own health or mood express it in their behavior: studies show that productivity tanks, people argue more, and the number of fatal accidents increases due to the time change.  In other words, DST does a real number on our quality of life – at least temporarily.

What does this have to do with the social model of disability?

The social model of disability states, essentially, that while we may be impaired by conditions that have a medical, bodymind-based cause, we are not 

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What to do when your family doesn’t accept autism

“My parents don’t accept that I am (or my child is) autistic. What should I do?” This question ranks pretty high on the most frequently asked list. We just recently had a discussion about it on Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook page, and I think it’s about time I wrote a full article. (All links open…

Source: What to do when your family doesn’t accept autism