What makes Social Village Unique and Cutting-Edge?
Social Thinking®, Executive Function, and Self-Regulation vocabulary and concepts are infused into the
Social Village experience.
Our vision for Social Village is to provide a place for kids with mild social challenges to feel comfortable and have fun. It’s a place where they can find like-minded peers, pursue their interests and feel connected to a social community.
Although Social Village clubs and activities are not considered "therapy," our social leaders will gently guide members to use Social Thinking® and executive function skills, and to stay in the expected emotional state for the time and place.
How is this done?
Terri Rossman, M.S., CCC-SLP, the owner of Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center (PSLLC) and Social Village, has extensive experience in the areas of social thinking, executive function and social regulation. Terri has built these concepts into the Social Village experience and social leaders use these tools and strategies to help kids if they need some coaching.
Social Village rooms are decorated with visual reminders to help students recognize “the size of a problem,” to “think about others,” to not be a “just me kid” and to make a “smart guess” to read body language and figure out someone’s plan. Techniques such as Social Behavior Mapping® are used to help kids understand the “expected behavior” in a situation. These are just some of the words and phrases that are used in the Social Village.
What exactly is Social Thinking?
Social thinking is the thought behind the social skill. When we use “social thinking” we demonstrate the expected behavior for a situation, which then makes others around us feel comfortable.
Social thinking “provides a philosophy and a continuously expanding set of teaching tools for parents, and professionals, to learn more about how we process and respond to social information, which helps us in our daily social relationships and within the academic curriculum,” according to Michelle Winner, M.S., CCC-SLP, the founder and creative force behind Social Thinking®.
Terri Rossman has 10 years of experience and extensive training in the area of Social Thinking under the direction of Michelle Winner.
What is Executive Function, and why does it matter?
“Executive function is a set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action. People use it to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space. A child with executive function difficulties may have problems organizing materials, setting schedules and completing tasks at all, or on time. They may misplace papers and school materials. They may have problems keeping track of their personal items or keeping their bedroom organized.” ~ Larry Silver, MD (ADDitude magazine).
Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC-SLP, a leading expert in the field of executive function, has trained Terri and the PSLLC staff how to improve executive function skills in children and young adults. While at the Social Village, kids are introduced to executive function concepts such as “stop and read the room” for situational awareness, as well as “Ready, Do, Done,” the 3 steps to task execution, and understanding the “passage of time.” Executive function concepts and vocabulary are introduced and reinforced while kids are playing games and participating in activities.
What is Self-Regulation?
“Self-regulation is something everyone continually works on, whether we are aware of it or not. We all have had situations that test our limits from time to time. If we are able to recognize when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to feel better and get ourselves to a better place. This comes naturally for some, but for others it is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced. This is the goal of The Zones of Regulation® (or Zones for short).”
~Leah Kuypers, M.S., OTR
At Social Village, we embrace the Zones vocabulary and concepts to help kids stay in the expected Zone, or emotional state or arousal level. Terri has extensive training in the Zones curriculum, and is in the process of developing a Zones of Regulation game with Leah Kuypers, her friend and colleague. These visual cues are posted on the walls of the rooms as reminders to help stay self-regulated:
On the following pages, you will find additional Social Thinking® and Executive Function words and phrases to know and use. By participating in Social Village, your child will either be introduced to this language or will reinforce his or her skills. Social Thinking Therapy groups and individual sessions are also offered at PSLLC and are highly recommended to develop these skills more effectively.
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. ~ Charles Swindoll
Books Worth Investing In:
- You Are a Social Detective! Explaining Social Thinking to Kids by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke (www.socialthinking.com)
- Socially Curious and Curiously Social: A Social Thinking Guidebook for Bright Teens & Young Adults by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke (www.socialthinking.com)
- Make Social Learning Stick! How to Guide and Nurture Social Competence Through Everyday Routines and Activities by Elizabeth Sautter, MA, CCC-SLP (www.amazon.com)
- Zones of Regulation Curriculum by Leah Kuypers (www.socialthinking.com)
- Mindset by Carol Dweck (www.amazon.com)
To enroll in Social Village or to receive more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-924-7080.