Social Cognitive Deficits (SCD’s) is a descriptive, inclusive term for children who have neuro-developmental disorders across various diagnoses (ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome, and PDD, etc.). They have social, emotional, and behavioral challenges that differ greatly from their typical peers. Children with SCD’s may have sensory integration or cognitive processing issues that prevent their reading and understanding social cues, non-verbal communication, unwritten social rules and expectations. Children in this population sometimes lack impulse control and affect regulation. To peers, children with SCD’s often look “weird”, detached, awkward, and rude, or mean. Consequently, these children isolate themselves or wind up rejected and ostracized by the group.
The neuro-behavioral traits of SCD’s quite often renders traditional home, school and therapy interventions ineffective, a fact that frustrates parents, teachers and professionals. Children with these unique traits require a unique approach to treatment. Visual/active social skills instruction and art-based social activities activate many of the strengths- and compensate for many weaknesses – of this population. Additionally, art materials and activities provide structure through which children experience social success. This workshop provided insights into the underlying social-cognitive processing in SCD’s, and offered practical intervention tools to help children develop and implement essential social awareness and skills.
- Michael Fogel, MA, ATR-BC, LPC