Welcome to Social Tweeking!  I am super excited to start this blog to share and receive feedback for those of us who work with children on social emotional/social skills.  I have worked with kids for over a decade now in a variety of capacities.  I have gone from mentor to therapist to supervisor.  My experiences have included stints in mental hospitals, public health clinics, Department of Child and Family Services, alternative school, public school, and a special education cooperative.  I have done group, individual and family therapy.  I have run groups from preK to high school, along with parent groups to boot.  I have loved all my experiences and feel that all have given me insight in some form or another.

My latest passion has been working with children on the autism spectrum, more specifically, kids with aspergers.  This has been both a challenge and a great reward.  Being able to connect, relate to and get buy-in from this group can be frustrating.  But alias, it can be done and when you achieve a success, boy does it feel good.  I started working with this group of kids as a LCSW in a special education cooperative and quickly found this was "my niche".  We work with those students who have a difficult time remaining in their home schools due to behavior.  These awesome students usually came to us with large deficits in social emotional skills.  Most had multiple diagnosis, such as OCD and ADD.  Almost all had clinically significant but undiagnosed anxiety.  We do almost daily social groups but found this was not enough.  We needed more intensive instruction in anxiety prevention and also cognitive behavioral therapy.  With this as my task, I set out to try to find everything I could to assist in instruction.  What I came to find was there was not much out there.  There is Social Thinking, by Michelle Garcia Winner, that is absolutely fabulous, but often times "too high" or "too wordy" for my students, who on top of their ASD, had severe anxiety and depression.  There are some great CBT programs, but not many with evidence in using with kids with ASD. Hence, I set out to create my own stuff, modifying sometimes other curriculum, but also individualizing for my students.  And that's where I am now.  I continue to create and search for the latest and greatest in resources for my kiddos.  I have been dappling in Mindfulness and also Growth Mindset, but am still struggling a bit here.  Please join me in my blog to hear my successes and failures.  Share with me yours as well!  After, it takes a village!

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