Social skills is one of our core areas of business at Speaking Space Ltd and all our staff receive training in how to work with people in this area. We believe that the importance of being able to be socially skilled cannot be over-estimated. We all need these skills to communicate effectively in order 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 everyone develops social competence naturally. Some people struggle with their social skills and require intervention. And this is what we do.
Why are we so passionate about social skills?
Our managing director is Alex Kelly, a speech and language therapist with over 30 years’ experience of working with people with social skills difficulties. She has written and published a number of best-selling resources to help develop social skills, self-esteem and friendship skills in children and adults, and more recently to develop understanding in sex and relationships. Her passion for this work started in the 1990s when she completed some research into social skills and found that if skills were taught in a hierarchical way, children were far more likely to succeed. Her TALKABOUT resources are all practical, easy to follow and popular in many countries across the world. She has recently written a theory book on social skills which combines sound theory with experience and evidence to make it an essential book for anyone wanting to further their knowledge of social skills.
All our staff are skilled in using a variety of strategies, including Talkabout, to develop social skills. We are also supporting a member of staff to complete some research into the effectiveness of social skills interventions in school.
A bit more about Talkabout
The TALKABOUT series by Alex Kelly is a structured programme for teaching and measuring social skills.
- A hierarchical approach to teaching social skills: foundation skills are taught prior to more complex skills.
- Includes an assessment and outcome measures: the Talkabout assessment includes a method of quantifying results and if you attend Alex’s training, she gives you additional systems to measure effectiveness through using targets and spreadsheets.
- Includes activities and plans of intervention: Talkabout is a scheme of work that is designed to be followed week by week, with plans for your intervention divided into 3 academic terms for anyone working in schools.
- Suitable for all ages: the different books are designed with a certain population in mind, so that you will use the resource best suited to your client group, from young children (4+) to adults.
- Suitable to put onto a school curriculum: the Talkabout resources have been written with schools in mind, so that teachers can easily put social skills into their lessons or onto their curriculum.
- Proven effectiveness: Talkabout has been proved to be an effective tool for developing self-esteem, social skills and friendship skills and Alex is happy to share evidence from schools who have measured their progress.
What others say
‘The resources reflect the essential stages of social development in life. Not only do they teach the rules, they make the experience a journey of fun.’ J Hoyle, SLT assistant, 2017
‘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’ Catherine Varapodio Longley, Parent, Melbourne, 2016
‘I feel very lucky to work in a school where our pupils get the opportunity to utilise Talkabout resources and to see the benefit that this has made to them and their peers. You are making a difference!’ Nicole Thomas, Teacher, Hampshire 2017]
Our social skills leads for our company are Amy Green and Lou Parratt