Who attends Skills for Living?

sfl_people_8There is no such thing as a “typical” Skills for Living student. Our unique group of students is what makes our community so special!

However there are many common characteristics our students share:

  • Average to well above average academic profile
  • Solid use of receptive and expressive language
  • The ability to participate in structured and less structured group experiences independently and safely
  • A desire to connect with socially peers, despite difficulty doing so
  • Possessing incredible strengths and interests, but often struggling with the daily expectations of life that most people consider innate (conversation, joining a group, maintaining friendships, understanding the perspective of others)
  • The experience of feeling “misunderstood” by others

While the Skills for Living team has a reputation and passion for supporting social learners, our expertise is not all-encompassing.  We are not able to effectively support students who:

  • Struggle with behavioral outbursts
  • Have limited use of expressive language
  • Have a history of wandering or “bolting” from groups
  • Currently require acute mental health support
  • Currently require ABA behavioral supports to successfully be part of a group
  • Have a history of physical aggression toward others
  • Require the support of a one-to-one aide for basic self-care and learning

Skills for Living is committed to providing the best possible environment for social learning. If our style doesn’t match the needs of a particular student, we work with families to offer referrals to local programs that might be a better fit.

For students who might have more pronounced special needs or require an added layer of support or structure to participate effectively in social programming, we direct families to Tom McElman at The Cardinal Cushing Center in Hanover or The Friendship Home in Norwell.

How does my child get involved at Skills for Living?

New students are accepted every month as space is available. Upon submitting an enrollment packet, prospective students and their families are invited to come in for a conversation about student strengths and areas for growth. If it is determined that Skills for Living is a good fit for the student and family, the student will enroll in a social group the following month.

What is social education, anyway? How does it differ from counseling?

The Skills for Living team uses a transdisciplinary model, combining their varied professional backgrounds to provide a unique opportunity for student learning.  The team holds advanced degrees in a number of areas, including counseling and clinical psychology.  However, at Skills for Living, we act as social educators as opposed to therapeutic counseling professionals. If a therapeutic setting makes more sense for a child and family, we are happy to provide a referral to one of the many talented mental health professionals in our area.