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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Showcase: Jessica of ASLAspergirl

JESSICA 

Social Thinking

During the summer I came across "Social Thinking", which was coined by Michelle Garcia Winner. Basically, social thinking is the ability to think oneself from a social perspective. In order to develop social skills, one must have evolved social thinking process. As an Aspergian, I constantly have to use my intellect to ensure that I practice appropriate social skills, which does not come naturally to me. Having sufficient appropriate social skills took me years to master and through trial-and-error. I was not diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome until age 30, so a lot of my social skills blunders were painful and frustrating. There did not seem to be a "manual" on how to navigate oneself in the social world.

Now, I am 31 years old and have looked back in my life. It really amazes me that I have had expended so much mental energy in figuring out the social world without any form of guidance. Hopefully that the current generation will benefit from a wide-range of resources related to social thinking. There are an abundance of books that would assist a socially-challenged individual with their navigation. However, one must remember that the social world is everchanging and evolving. What may have worked at one time may not be appropriate for a "similar", but different time.

The most painful lesson that I had to learn was to accept that people's behaviour are "illogical". No matter what people said or have done, NEVER criticize them. They will take offense by it despite your good intentions. I've faced so many angry and frustrated people were deeply hurt by my "critical" comments. My intention was to "point out" why they were in their current situation. I wasn't trying to cause harm to them, but unfortunately my blunt approach wasn't taken graciously. I have a cause-and-effect type of thinking, which makes it difficult for me to stop myself from thinking of causes for current scenarios.

Social thinking is an important skill to develop in order to survive in the neurotypical world. No matter how much you want to avoid or disregard the importance of social skills, you will not be taken seriously if you do not attempt to develop it. You must consider it as equal to your special interests. Consider learning about social thinking as a process to improve yourself as an individual. The more you learn about social thinking, the more you can find appropriate resources to assist you in becoming more socially competent.

2 comments:

Stacey said...

I love this blog post! Thank you for sharing! ;-)

Sockitmama said...

Michelle Garcia Winner's material is fantastic! We're getting my son her Social Behavior Chart soon.

Jed Baker's material is also good.

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