As a Social Communication Coach™, my job is to assist individuals with a social communication disorder to see, hear and experience themselves the way others may be seeing, hearing and experiencing them. I provide a safe, nonjudgmental environment in which to undertake my Ten Steps to Social Communication Success going about the process in the following order:
Listen and take notes.
Ask questions beginning in a broad and general manner and moving to focused, targeted and specific questions.
Reflect back to the individual that which I have heard to ensure accuracy and acknowledge their concern and perception of the issue at hand.
Challenge the individual to think in more deliberate, planned and purposeful ways about their thoughts, actions, and behaviors than they would otherwise normally do.
Co-Identify the gaps between where the individual currently is and they need or want to be.
Co-Develop a workable strategy and action plan with the individual to narrow and ultimately close the gap.
Discuss and mutually agree upon (very important) potential roadblocks to social communication success.
Clarify goals for dealing with similar situations in the future and mutually agree (specific, no gray areas) about what successful results will look like.
Co-Select and mutually agree upon self-monitoring strategies and measurement tools (e.g., photos, physical evidence, written notes, digital audio recordings, etc.).
Secure feedback from the client and others (e.g., spouse, partner, teacher, counselor, parent, family member, or other mutually agreed upon individual), compare perspectives of each, discuss similarities and differences, draw conclusions, and decide what success strategies to keep and what failed strategies to discard.
I have used the above process many times over the years with much success. The strength of the approach lies in the fact that it is comprehensive, detailed and predictable template upon which to overlay current and future social communication challenges. It is one of the many approaches I have developed over the course of my clinical career which provides the structure, accountability, and support necessary to sustain social communication success and ongoing commitment to improving ones social interaction, social cognition and social-pragmatic language skills.