Does this describe your son in high school?
- Has a hard time in unstructured social settings
- Had friends in elementary school but seemed to become more socially isolated when he got to middle school
- Spends most of his weekends home alone, in front of video games/computers
- Wants to spend time with peers but does not initiate plans
- Says his “friends” are kids he plays online video games with
- Seem to sometimes “lack a filter” or not pick up on social cues
- Relates better to younger children and adults than his similar-age peers
- Tries to fit in with a group of peers who are not accepting of him
- Says he has friends that he plays video games or sits at lunch with yet knows little about them
- Labels other kids who behave similar to him as “annoying” or “weird” because he doesn’t realize how he comes across to others
High School can be a lonely time for boys who have trouble understanding what other boys need from them in friendships and how to go through the steps of spending time with their peers outside of school. Some boy in high school have developed social anxiety because of their history of unsuccessful social experiences. In these cases we always address social anxiety first as this must be addressed before social and executive functioning issues.
Our groups for boys in high school focus on teaching social and executive functioning skills. The boys who attend our groups enjoy spending time and learning from each other in a structured but informal environment. We do not sit around and talk about “social skills” or role play scripted, socially appropriate behaviors.
Topics covered in our high school groups include:
- Understanding other’s thoughts and feelings and how you come across to others
- Developing situational awareness (reading a room)
- Learning to be more flexible for the sake of being part of a group
- Sharing an imagination (learning how to share ideas, etc. and collaborate)
- Being able to take directions from peers and give directions without being bossy
- Learning how to make plans and scaffold “hanging out” time
- Showing an interest in other boys in ways that sound natural (aka not sounding like you walked out of a social skills group)
- Putting problems in a relevant context and engaging in independent problem solving skills
- Learning how to spend time with other boys, without the use of electronics
- Sharing the right amount of information in conversations (reciprocal conversations instead of talking at other kids about your interests)
- Understanding the increased social expectations around hygiene/puberty
- Learning the “hidden rules” of male-male social communication
Please contact us to discuss how we can help your son learn to connect with other boys his age and develop his social competency.