Tip 2: Don’t forget to recognize when you have “plugged into” your client!
Recognize when you have “plugged into” your client or student. You will be able to tell by their body language, by their tone of voice, by their over-all attention level to what you are describing. Chances are they will start to get more animated, ask questions, and nod along with what you are saying. Validate to your client or student that you see they are “getting” what you are talking about.
Tip 3: Setting them up to “show the work”
The last tip is now that you have “plugged into” something your client can understand, it will be important to encourage them to “practice” or “show the work” that goes into the concept you are teaching. This is where some “Self talk” or certain “reminder scripts” can be helpful.
A “reminder script” is something I use with clients that they say to themselves either before or as they are in a social situation; it is a form of verbal mediation.
Once your client or student finds that they can “get” the concept you are trying to teach, they will be more invested and eager to attempt the strategies.
Going back to Sara, what helped her to process her social situation was tapping into her love and understanding for theatre. We took on roles of the “actors” and the “director”. The “director” is not always a person when you are dealing with a social situation; often it is the “context” that you have to be aware of and take your “cues” from. So it was working with her on observing the “director” when she was in various social situations and then modifying her behaviors based on those cues. What was interesting was when it came time for her to “show the work,” she took the feedback from the “director” better than if it was coming from her mom or dad. She was able to reflect on the cues from the “director” (or context) and tell me how she needed to change things for next time.
When it comes to this social stuff, kids will not always be 100% successful. However the idea is to think about a concept in a way that makes sense to their brain, apply some strategies, come back and review the strategies and how they worked, and then “adjust” the strategies based on new information. The beautiful thing about teaching social is that you are always re-thinking and re-examining how you teach certain concepts; therefore teaching is never boring. Just keep thinking outside the box!!