People with social learning disorder face many challenges in our world of “neurotypical” people. It’s hard for the person with the disorder to understand the social world, and it’s hard for typically developing people to understand why they they are breaking social rules. People with social learning disorders can get frustrated, lonely and confused. They feel rejected by their peers, while the peers are confused by their behaviour.
Social learning problems can occur for a wide range of people with different learning profiles and different diagnoses. These include: autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Asperger’s syndrome (now referred to as high functioning ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), nonverbal learning disability (NLD), pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and a number of less common learning profiles or diagnoses.
The reasons for having social communication problems may stem from different sources. For example:
People with ASD appear not to learn social cues and expectations intuitively the way their neurologically typical peers do.
Children with ADHD may be able to learn intuitively yet may not pay proper attention to the social cues they receive.
We teach clients to understand social interactions and to respond appropriately. We employ well-established teaching models, including Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking™ model. This highly acclaimed model helps us teach clients how to think in a social way, rather than merely teaching rote social skills.