Learning about being an “information informer” & “social relater”


This is one of my favorite lessons to teach that I created and taught at camp yesterday. (Video of the lesson coming next week).

I find that in social skills instruction the concept of “relatability” is rarely discussed. I created this lesson several years ago because the boys I worked with who had attended social skills groups, both in school and outside of school we’re learning overly formal etiquette and learning social communication skills that are not organic to the way boys communicate with each other. What these guys were learning was actually making them less relatable to other boys (if they followed the scripted conversation starters they were learning).

I learn the terms “information informer” and “social relater” from Michelle Garcia Winner, who created
Social Thinking. After introducing the concepts of what each of these terms looks like, I ask the guys to tell me where they think they fall on this continuum. I find that most of the time they’re pretty accurate, and those who are not accurate are not too far off.

The point of the lesson is to teach that being a social relater makes you more endearing to others and to teach what it looks like. I teach that you have to use your “brain coach” whenever you’re with other kids to think about where you are on this continuum.

I find that a lot of parents are initially hesitant to let their sons know when they’re being an information informer because they’re worried about hurting their feelings. I let parents know that it’s actually doing them a disservice to not point this out to them at the expense of protecting their feelings.

When I’m doing a group or during camp I do quietly point out the kids when they’re being information informer but also explicitly point out when they’re being a social relater in order to help generalize these concepts in real time.

Online sessions: http://www.adhddude.com
Camp: http://www.summertripcamp.com

Learn more about Social Thinking: http://www.socialthinking.com

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