By Dr. Michael McManmon
from Psychology Today
Social mentors can play a powerful role in the social development of young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and other Learning Differences. They serve as role models who teach young adults important communication skills and model real life social situations. These situations can include going to a restaurant, attending a sporting event or visiting a shopping mall.
For example, if a student enjoys computer gaming, and he or she has difficulty forming friendships or introducing him/herself to others, the social mentor may suggest that they go to a video store. On the way to the store, the mentor can share a story about how he or she recently initiated a conversation with a new person. At the store, the student can attempt to have a conversation with the sales clerk by asking about the latest and newest video games available. After the experience, the social mentor can give the student feedback regarding what they did well and what areas need improvement.