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Part -1 Overview: The ability to interact successfully with peers is one of the most developmental accomplishments of children and

youth. The degree to which children and youth are able to maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships, gains peer acceptance , make meaningful friendships and terminate negative or pernicious interpersonal relationships defines social competence and predicts long term psychological and social adjustment. Kupersmidt , Coie, & Dodge 1990). Socially skilled person is one who can adapt well to his or her environment and who can avoid conflict both of verbal and physical nature through communication with others. On the other hand socially unskilled person is one who often engage in conduct problems such as fight with other children, is unpopular with peers and adults and does not go along well with his or her teachers or other professionals. This child is perceived as very uncaring about rights of others as being self centred in his or her behaviour.

Why Social Skills are Important The importance of social skills or competence is particularly salient for students demonstrating significant delay in cognitive, academic, and emotional functioning. The individual with disability Act (IDEA) have consistently emphasized the importance of cognitive and social competence deficits. Thereby social competence deficits have been used in the identification and classification of students as emotionally disturbed. Two of the five criterion specified in IDEA are pivotal in identifying the student as emotionally disturbed (a) (b) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers Inappropriate type of behaviour under normal circumstances

Towards a definition Gresham 1983: Wolf 1978 defined social competence in terms of social validity as socially significant behaviour exhibited in specific situations that predicts important social outcomes, for children and youth. Socially significant behaviours are those behaviours that treatment consumers like parents, teachers, and peers consider desirable and which predicts an individuals standing on socially important outcomes. Socially important outcomes are those which that treatment consumers consider Important, adoptive and functional.

Difference between social skills and social competence Social skills are specific behaviours that an individual exhibits to perform competently on social tasks e.g starting a conversation or entering a play ground whereas social competence is an evaluative term based on judgement that person has performed successfully on a social task. Part-2: Assessment Issues

Two Main Types of Assessment

Indirect Methods Indirect methods assess behaviours that does not occur at the time and place of its occurrence. Examples include functional assessment interviews, ratings by others, peer assessment methods etc. Direct Methods Direct methods include assessment of behaviour at the time and place of its actual occurrence and include naturalistic observations of social behaviour e.g class room and playground observations and self monitoring strategies. Goals of social skills assessment There are four main goals of social skills assessment. (a) (b) (c) (d) Problem identification Problem analysis Plan implantation Treatment evaluation

Domains of Assessment Social skills can be assessed under four main categories (a) Peer relation skills (b) Self management skills (c) Academic skills (d) Compliance skills Why social skills domains are Important Social skills domains are important because they serve the following functions.

(a) Provides s nomenclature to refer to typical social skills pattern. (b) Identifies a profile of social skills dimensions on which students may have relative strengths and weaknesses. (c) Can be used to design interventions to teach social skills (d) Can be used to measure the outcomes of social skills interventions


Intervention plans/Social skills Training

Social skills training emphasize the acquisition, performance, generalization and maintenance of prosoical behaviour and reduction or elimination of competing problem behaviours. The purpose of social skills training can be fulfilled when we may be able to differentiate between social skills acquisition deficits, Fluency and social skills performance deficits Social skills acquisition deficits They refer to either absence of knowledge for executing a particular social skill even under optimal conditions or failure to identify which social behaviours are appropriate in specific situations. They can be called as Cant DO Deficits. Social skills performance deficits They refer to the present of social skills in a students behaviour repertoire, but the failure to perform these skills at acceptable levels in given situations. These may also be called as Wont Do deficits. Social skills Fluency deficits A child wants to perform, has some skills also but is not polished enough or has not enough practice or fluency to perform a particular social task at desireable level. Categories of the SST (a) (b) (c) (d) Promoting skill acquisition Enhancing skill performance Reducing or eliminating competing problem behaviours Facilitating generalizations and maintenance of social skills

Promoting skill acquisition 1. Modelling: Modelling is the process of learning behaviour by observing another person performing that behaviour .It presents the entire sequence of behaviours involved in a particular social skill and teaches how to integrate specific behaviours into a composite behaviour pattern. It is one of the most effective ways of teaching social behaviour. 2. Coaching: Coaching is the use of verbal instruction to teach social skills. It emphasizes the use of a child receptive language skill. Coaching is accomplished in three steps. a. Presenting social concepts or rules b. Providing opportunities for practice and rehearsal c. Providing specific informational feedback on quality of behaviour 3. Behavioural Rehearsal: A way of practicing a newly learned behaviour in a structured, protective situation or role playing. Three important forms of behavioural rehearsal include 1. Covert rehearsal 2. Verbal rehearsal 3. Overt rehearsal EXAMPLE: A child is asked to imagine being teased by another child. He is asked that how you would respond to that child and it would be his or her covert behaviour. The psychologist might consider covert rehearsal with verbal rehearsal by asking child to recite specific behaviours that would exhibit in specific situations. One can use combination of verbal rehearsal with overt rehearsal by asking the child to role play the situation.

Enhancing skill performance 1. Peer initiation strategies: These strategies are used with the children who are socially isolated and displays low rate of social interaction but dont have externalizing behaviour problems. A childs peers are used to initiate and maintain social interactions with socially withdrawn children. Children taught to play through sharing, offering assistance, suggesting play ideas and showing affection. Types of peer based strategies a. Proximity: In this technique socially competent children are placed with children having disabilities and are instructed to play with them without any formal training.

b. Prompt and reinforce: It involves use of verbal or non verbal cues or prompts to facilitate or reinforce prosoical behaviours. Simple prompts may be saying thank you or Good on a desirable behaviour or simply inviting them to engage in or join their group. c. Peer tutoring: Peer tutoring is particularly used to enhance academic skills. Peers learn majority of skills by competent peers through informal interaction periods. This strategy may include the students to work in pairs to master academic skills or related content. The student may have same or different age group. This strategy helps in increasing students motivation, confidence level achievement and social skills. 2.Incidental Learning : Incidental learning focus on reinforcement and errorless learning. It focuses on child learning within naturally occurring daily activities. It was initially recognized by Hort & Risely (1970 & 1980) to increase language and social responses by maximizing the power of reinforcement and engaging generalizations. Incidental teaching is a synonymous term used for the concept. Typically in the process first teacher arrange environment e.g he or she may place the children preferred toys and things of interest within sight but not within reach of children. The motto is to encourage the child or student to initiate the learning or play process. The teacher may ask the student or encourage him for initiation or may prompt him/her for the said purpose. However it is always preferred to wait and let the child to self initiate.

3.Contigency contracting: The child problematic behaviour is reported by parents or teachers.A contract is made that the child can get reinforcers contingent upon approximations to desired appropriate behaviours chosen as incompatible with the referreral problem behaviours.Contracts are governed by natural contingency managers like parents and teachers who are required to make a record of daily contracted behaviour and reinforcers and child behaviour is managed accordingly.e.g Not wishing elders, Using abusive language etc may be managed by the said process. 4.Group oriented Contigency system: Child participate in daily manipulative play activities in groups of two or more including one target child and two or more peers. With brief training interdependent contingency group share, assist, and play exchanges between the target children and peers. In the interaction the socially competent youngsters may also use supportive prompts to facilitate the social exchanges between the remaining group members. The rest of procedure for contingency contract will be same as in normal contingencies.

5.Activity Reinforcers and verbal Praise : Sometimes a child knows how to perform behaviour but is not doing it because of little or no reinforcement for that behaviour. Reinforcement strategies including attention, social spraise token/ points are the ways to reinforce a desired behaviour.

Removing competing problem behaviours 1. Differential reinforcement: A Technique used to decrease problematic behaviour both by providing reinforcement for either appropriate behaviours or for absence of problematic behaviours and by placing problematic behaviour on extinction. Reinforcement is consisted of two components. a. For occurrence of behaviour other than a problem behaviour or problem behaviour occurring at a reduced rate. b. Withholding reinforcement for problem behaviours. 2. Differential reinforcement of incompatible or alternate behaviour In (DRI) a Response is reinforced if it is physically incompatible with the target problem behaviour. In (DRA) a response is reinforced if it is an appropriate alternate to a problem behaviour but not necessarily incompatible with the Target problem behaviour. e.g a child may be lacking eye contact or showing verbal or physically aggressive behaviour. 3. Over correction Restitution and positive practice: Overcorrection involves engaging the students in repetitive behaviour as a penalty for having displayed an inappropriate activity or action. Examples a. Student uses a marking pen to write his name on the desk. He is asked to rub it b. A student Hits another is asked to say sorry c. A child repeatedly throws liquid on the floor. He is asked to wash it repeatedly by throwing it intentionally by the teacher or a parent. 4. Timeout A time out is a way of temporarily separating a child from an environment where an inappropriate behaviour has occurred and in this way an overexcited chid is given time to calm down .It is an indirect way of discouraging an undesired behaviour. Traditionally it has been in practice to remove the students temporarily from class if displaying any problem. a. exclusionary Student is removed from the setting that is believed to be reinforcing the behaviour .she or he is assigned to another setting that should be incredibly boring and will promote the urge to return and stay in the class.

b. Non exclusionary Students remain in the same instructional setting but does not receive any reinforcement while remaining there .The students may be allow to observe but may not be an active participants. They are not allowed to offer answers, receive points or engage in practical activities or converse with a group of others. Examples may include Head down, Head on the desk, shifting the student few feet back from the main group etc. 5. Systematic Desensitization & Flooding /Exposure The student is asked to imagine certain aspects of feared object or situation combined with relaxation. Gradual exposure refers to exposing the child to feared situation in a slow and gradual manner. Whereas Flooding refers to exposing the child to feared situation all at once and kept in it until the fear and anxiety subside. Facilitating Generalizations and maintenance The important aspect in social skills training is that it is easier to get some behaviour to occur in specific time and specific situation but it is somewhat difficult to occur at more than one place and to occur for an extended period of time. Generalization of SST across participants, settings, and behaviours and maintenance of these effects over time is the key requirement for a school psychologist. So it is the responsibility of school psych to plan intervention for the behaviours when they are in less critical shape and if they have gone severe then the strategies used for SST should be carefully selected so that Their generalizations across time and varety of situations can be established. Key concepts for making generalization 1. Training should occur in variety of settings 2. Training should occur with different people 3. Training Mediators: Bandura 1977 emphasized the role of language as mediator e.g I can do this , imagery as mediator e.g the child is asked to imagine him or herself in a certain situation and expectancy as mediator. Self Efficacy is an example of Expectancy. 4. Changing the type , nature and timings of reinforcement 5. Developing self management skills: According to Bandura 1977 it include the ability to regulate ones own behaviour by self produced consequences as highest level of development and refer to self regard as a generalize able skill that can be used continually. The process of self regulation include following important steps a. Adopting standards on which performance is to be evaluated b. Monitor ones own behaviour c. Evaluating ones performance according to standards d. Providing self reinforcement