Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Social Skill Builder - Software for Life Skills

One of the biggest challenges in parenting a child with ADHD or autism is the social aspect. I've talked with friends who are in the midst of raising children with ADHD as well as friends raising children with autism many a time. This is a subject we often address.

Some kids have a difficult time understanding social cues. Others don't quite understand what is appropriate behavior in varied social situations. And still others just have a problem with impulse control. And these difficulties lead to a social awkwardness for the child as well as those people they deal with. The end result can quickly become one where a child feels isolated and ill equipped socially.

That's where and their software can help. The Social Skill Builder software helps kids learn about proper social skills in a fun and positive way. The software starts out with a map that has images of common public and private places. A child can choose the place and level of difficulty before beginning the game.

First a video of a common circumstance is played. Then children are asked a few multiple choice questions. If the child answers wrong, no big deal. The software provides gentle help and gives a "reward" when the question is answered correctly. The segments are short. And after each session children get to play a quick game.

Want to reinforce proper behavior while riding in the car? No problem, there are video scenarios for that followed by a question/answer session. What if you're planning to go to a movie? Or want to show your child the correct way to wait in the pediatrician's waiting room? Simply click on the appropriate topic. Your child can see positive (as well as negative) behavior demonstrated.

My son has ADHD and has a difficult time controlling his impulses. He also has a difficult time controlling his emotions if he feels hurt by a friend. We sat down together to watch the scenarios and work through the answers. He enjoyed watching the situations where the kids would act out and was quick to point out what about the behavior was wrong and why. He seemed to take great pride in the fact that he knew how to act accordingly. He was also able to tell me what the proper behavior was in the situation.

One of the biggest battles is that some kids don't know how to act appropriately. But then again, some (like Seth) do but at times get so excited that this knowledge seems to fly out the window. We have gone through several of the situations a few times, hoping that a reminder will help. (He's not a bad kid. Just has lots of energy and doesn't always know how to constructively channel it. But then again, that's what we parent are for, yes?)

I highly recommend. Actually, I think even regular kids could benefit from this social skills software. It could even be an interesting tool to use in a classroom.

This review was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network.