Moving toward independence…

Coaching clients in social language through Skype at college is a new and exciting way to help build social skills and help students be successful at school. What is involved in this coaching approach? Initially the specific problems are indentified, such as how do I identify the kind of person I would like as a friend? Where are some places that I can observe and interact with people?  Next 4-5 goals are created to be accomplished by the next session. Each session consist of reviewing the previous goals and then writing new goals based on the accomplishments of the previous goals.

I had a client in college that always ate alone, stayed in his room with the door closed accept when he went to class and spoke primarily only in class or respond to “hi” with a brief “hi” when he passed someone in the hall. He was depressed after one semester. What did we do during our sessions? We followed the coaching plan and used modeling, role play, discussion over Skype two times a week for 30 minutes.

So, is it working?  This semester after a month, this client has been able to identified 8 peers and has worked on building mental files on each. (From Michelle Garcia Winner, Thinking About You Thinking About Me) He has had conversations with peers in his dorm and at the gym, has invited someone to lunch, has texted acquaintances, and is having discussions in the dorm common room instead of staying in his room with the door closed doing his school work and he leaves his door partially open when not doing school work. Is that success?

Published by Kai Long

Kai currently lives in MA and is interested in collaborating with others to develop a deeper understanding of our speech and language needs.