For the second year, second-year students at ASAT are enjoying a three-week class called Fundamentals of Social Communication at Southern Connecticut State University.
Each Monday and Wednesday, they commute to the Southern campus on their own and do coursework alongside other undergrad students in this college-level class on the basics of social communication in the Department of Communication Disorders. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they return to SCSU for social communication groups to supplement their academic work.
The class serves many purposes, according to Dr. Barbara Cook, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, who oversees the class with Dr. Deborah Weiss, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Chair of the Department of Communication Disorders at SCSU.
“The emphasis of the course is understanding the theoretical concepts of social cognition and relating these to the workplace and the university setting,” Cook said. The class gives ASAT students greater familiarity with college-level academic work while at the same time familiarizes them with the SCSU campus. They’ve obtained SCSU student IDs as part of their registration as non-matriculated students and have taken guided tours of the new SCSU science building, Buley Library, the food court, and the departments of Art and Computer Science.
Learning how to navigate the world socially is vitally important, said Dr. Weiss. “It’s the key for everything that we do, whether in the workplace or in our personal relationships. The way we communicate verbally and nonverbally is really the key to success in life.”
The class fits well with one of the main tenets of Chapel Haven’s Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition program – learning the in’s and out’s of social communication. Student Anna Krause, shown in photo at left, has really enjoyed the class. “I learned so much in the three weeks of class,” she said. “I really was amazed how much I learned about myself. For example; I learned to become more social and to be confident in myself. I learned that sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone to really succeed.”