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Developing Social Skills: a 2-day course on assessing and teaching social skills

by Alex Kelly and Naomi Pearson 

The importance of being socially skilled cannot be over-estimated. We all need these skills to communicate effectively to listen to others, to express ourselves, to be taken seriously and to make friends. We know that social competence contributes to quality of life and has been repeatedly demonstrated to be a critical variable in predicting success in future life. However, not all children develop social competence naturally. Some people struggle with their social skills and require intervention.

Alex Kelly’s training will introduce you to social skills and what can be done about social skills difficulties. It is a practical and interactive course and so you will not only come away with the theory on how to work with people in the most effective way, but you will also have the confidence to start working with them immediately. Alex uses a mixture of lecturing, videos and practical exercises to keep you engaged, interested and amused.

It will answer the following 3 essential questions:

  • Assessing social skills…Where do I start?
  • Teaching social skills… How do I teach it and which approach will work best?
  • Measuring effectiveness…How can I set targets and measure progress?

A bit about Alex Kelly

Alex is a speech and language therapist with over 30 years’ experience of working with people with social skills difficulties. She is the author of the best-selling TALKABOUT resources and has just had her 13th book published: ‘Social Skills: developing effective interpersonal communication’. She lectures internationally, and this will be her 6th visit to Australia. 

She runs her own business in the UK offering training and consultancy in social skills, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy in over 40 schools, and a day service for adults with autism. She currently employs 27 staff and is joined on this trip by Naomi Pearson. You can find out more about Alex and her TALKABOUT resources at her website

A bit about Naomi Pearson

Naomi has worked with Alex for over 15 years. She has specialised in the field of intellectual disability and autism for all her professional career and works for Alex as a company director and speech therapy manager for Speaking Space Ltd. She has a particular interest in research and is currently undertaking a Masters in assessing the effectiveness of social skills interventions within primary schools, due to be published next year.

Naomi is also a Makaton Tutor and lectures on augmentative communication for people with disabilities as well as on social skills. This will be her third visit to Australia but her first lecturing trip to Australia with Alex.

The course objectives

Over the 2 days participants will learn how to:

  • Define social skills and social competence and describe why social incompetence can occur.
  • Assess social skills and plan where to start.
  • Define social skills in the context of the hierarchical model of intervention.
  • Set targets and measure the effectiveness of intervention.
  • Plan the appropriate intervention using the 4-step approach: behaviour, environment, motivation and strategy.
  • Use a 1:1 therapeutic approach such as stories & comic strips to teach social skills.
  • Set up and run effective social skills groups.
  • Use creative arts approaches such as modelling, role play and puppets.
  • Use technology approaches such as media and computer programmes.

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for anyone working with children or adults who struggle with their social skills and who want to promote social interaction and social development. It will be of interest to teachers / educators, teaching assistants / aids, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and psychologists.

What others say

‘Alex is a vibrant, energetic presenter who had me enthralled. She is incredibly generous with her ideas and suggestions. One of the best workshops I have ever attended – and I go to lots! Thanks!’ Clinical Psychologist, Sydney, 2016

‘All in all, Alex, what a wonderful world for kids it would be if your social skills programme were in all schools across the continents’ Parent, Melbourne, 2016

Workshop Details

13th March, 2019 9.00am Registration for a 9.30am start - 4.30pm

14th March, 2019 9.30am - 4.30pm

Workshop includes tea, coffee, morning tea, afternoon tea, lunch and a handbook. 

Therapy Matters is proud to be hosting Alex Kelly for the second time on the Gold Coast. 

Registrants coming from out of area are welcome to contact Therapy Matters for accommodation and travel recommendations. 

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