Social relatability before social skills


This is Martin from The Simpsons.
Martin is overly formal with his peers. As a result, he is often the target of bullying because of how unrelatable he is to other boys.

I have a strong sense Martin attended a social skills group because this is what is taught in most social skills groups-being overly formal and breaking the “hidden rules” of social communication between boys.

A female colleague in the autism field once said to me “We need to stop teaching boys to communicate like they’re middle aged women”. I told her I couldn’t agree more but I never felt comfortable saying that out loud because I was worried it would be perceived as being chauvinistic.

This week a mom shared with me that her son attended a social skills group several years ago and had applied what he had learned in the group. As a result, he became the target of teasing by other boys because he broke the rules of how boys communicate socially.

Being polite and having manners is important. Being relatable to your peers is what helps you connect and form social relationships.

If your son is currently attending a social skills group is he being taught to break the hidden rules of social communication between boys or is he learning to be relatable to his male peers?

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