We strongly believe that in order to effectively learn these pragmatic language skills and to be able to generalize them into everyday life, students must be taught a common language identifying these social concepts and rules. In addition, they must be provided with consistent visual cues and strategies which can be used across different environments to support the acquisition of these concepts. Whenever possible we like to consult to schools to provide them with the same tools and strategies used in our groups. Parent Workshops are also held so that parents are trained in the “language” and tools and symbols of Dramatic Pragmatics so that they too may carry them over to the home environment and reinforce the concepts. During our sessions, whether it be in a structured time at the table or an unstructured time downstairs in our “Dugout” room, we as language therapists are continually providing feedback to our students to help them identify, interpret and modify social behavior and social language.
In addition, we are continually helping our students to learn to problem solve and to take on another’s perspective while they are interacting. By teaching perspective taking in everything we do, our students are learning the positive and negative consequences of the behavioral choices they make and the choice of language that they use. Another bonus of group work is that the peers become not only each other’s “support”, but they also help to provide that natural feedback that only peers can provide in a safe, nurturing environment!