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Social Skills

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NEWS
January 17, 1988 | By David McClendon, Special to The Inquirer
The Palmyra Board of Education has approved a new course to be offered in the spring semester for high school special education students called pro- social skills. The course, which was approved Tuesday night, will emphasize social skills such as conversation, courtesy, work habits, problem solving and handling diverse emotions. The course will be taught by special education teacher Laina Colombo. Four students will be enrolled in the spring semester. Classes will open to other students in the fall.
NEWS
August 8, 1997 | By Julie Blair, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Hey, kids. There's a new rule in school: Talk to one another in class. Blabber. Ramble. Whoop it up. Your teacher will say it's okay - may even encourage you to do it. Sixty-five Pennsbury School District teachers and administrators joined more than 100 educators for a weeklong workshop at Village Park Elementary to learn strategies to incorporate social skills into the curriculum. "What we are seeing in schools today, no matter whether they are inner-city schools, suburban schools or rural schools, is that kids lack social skills we used to be able to assume they had," said Chip Wood, a director at the Northeast Foundation, the Massachusetts education policy group running the program.
NEWS
October 19, 1993 | By Joyce Vottima Hellberg, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Wiggling in their chairs, the youngsters vied for attention. Gently, but with authority, their teacher reminded them to speak when it was their turn and to listen quietly to others. The seven preschoolers at the Phebe Anna Thorne School struggled with that request, each wanting to share his or her thoughts. The children attend the Language Enrichment Preschool Program at the Bryn Mawr school, an intensive individualized program for 3- to 5-year-olds who have language delays, attention problems and difficulty with social skills.
NEWS
August 11, 2003 | By Kristen A. Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Ryan Cullen was practicing. Eyes wide and unblinking, the 10-year-old got within a foot of Joseph Cohen, also 10, and nodded vigorously at what he was saying. "Good eye contact, Ryan," Barbara Abrams told him, beaming. "Good listening. " For the five boys, this sitting in a circle with peers and talking about camp experiences and games was far more than a cool summer activity. All have Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism that is being diagnosed with frequency.
NEWS
September 21, 2001 | By Kristen A. Graham INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Early in his life, Jordan Schmidt would keep his baby arms wide open, straight and stiff, when he was held. The brown-eyed boy would sob uncontrollably when things changed suddenly. He had extremely sensitive hearing. He didn't hug anyone, and no one knew why. "It drove Debbie to distraction," Todd Schmidt, Jordan's father, said of his wife. "He just couldn't hug. " Now, two months shy of their son's sixth birthday, the Cherry Hill parents are no longer in the dark - Jordan has Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism that was diagnosed when he was 3. Like a growing number of children around the region and the country with the same diagnosis, Jordan is a study in contrasts: He has trouble with social interactions and flexible thinking but attends a mainstream kindergarten class, possesses an eighth-grade vocabulary, and has written his first screenplay.
NEWS
October 16, 1998 | By Gloria A. Hoffner, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Nine-year-old Caroline Hager had never heard the story The Weird Girl before yesterday, but she was very familiar with the plot. It's a tale, she said, that she has seen played out numerous times in her own schoolyard. "Weird Girl" is just another name for a newcomer. "Whenever there's a new girl in class, the other girls just don't play with her," Caroline said. "It takes about two weeks before people start to play with someone who's new. " Learning how to extend courtesy to everyone is one of the Six Pillars of Character emphasized during a full day of activities yesterday at Tredyffrin/Easttown School District's Hillside Elementary School.
NEWS
October 4, 1990 | By Gloria A. Hoffner, Special to The Inquirer
Holding the cardboard cutout of a firefighter in his right hand, Christopher Canzanese, 4, of Essington, searched the puzzle board before him for a place where the firefighter would fit just right. "I can help you," said Ashlyn Trusty, 4, of Chester, leaning across the work table to Christoper. Christopher completed his puzzle with a little help from Ashlyn. Then both helped Matt Vadala, 4, of Morton finish his dog puzzle as part of their morning preschool lesson. Although the lesson was typical of most preschool activities, the setting is breaking new educational ground, according to Kyu Hwang, director of the Elwyn Development Center preschool in Media.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2012 | By Ian Hamilton, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Undergraduate students at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, have built an Android app to help students through social awkwardness. The app, called AwkTalk, was developed by students for AppJam, a competition to build the best mobile app in one week. The theme for the competition was self-improvement and the team "Socially Awkward Anteaters" won the $1,000 first prize in the competition with the app. "We were all aware that many of our colleagues in the fields of computer science and engineering (ourselves included)
NEWS
March 21, 1991 | By Denise Breslin Kachin, Special to The Inquirer
Preschool: You could call it Kindergarten Prep. And with the cachet comes the catch: To lay dibs on a pint-size chair this fall, parents started enrolling their 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds in area preschools several months ago. "We started getting phone calls back in December for parents wanting to reserve a spot for the 1991-92 school year," said Mary Barringer, director and teacher at Hopewell United Methodist Nursery School in East Brandywine Township....
NEWS
May 29, 1994 | By Gloria A. Hoffner, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Getting phone calls from classmates and attending birthday parties are all normal expectations of childhood. But some children never experience them. Kyndra Needham, 11, was one of those youngsters whose name was missing from invitation lists, according to her mother Gwen Needham. Looking for a way to fit in, Kyndra found help through Collage, a Newtown Square-based occupational therapy program that helps children age 5 through 15 gain social skills. "She was alienated from her peer group.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2013 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Producing master plans to combat blight and revive rundown neighborhoods has practically become a cottage industry in Philadelphia. But comebacks, when they happen, rarely turn out the way planners script them. So it is with Point Breeze, which begins south of Washington Avenue on the west side of Broad Street, and extends well past Snyder Avenue. Once a working-class area of stalwart brick rowhouses, dramatically punctuated by cathedral-size churches that seem worthy of Rome, Point Breeze began coming apart at the seams with the '80s crack epidemic.
NEWS
January 21, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Strange, awkward, socially inept - witness descriptions of former parochial-school teacher Bernard Shero have been consistent. Prosecutors allege that the traits are consistent with a man who raped a pupil - a 10-year-old altar boy - in the backseat of his car. But, as Shero's lawyer suggests, are they just the personality of a man whose physical disability made him a social outcast and easy target of children's jeers and rumors? Both sides pressed their interpretations Friday on the Philadelphia jury hearing the trial of Shero and the Rev. Charles Engelhardt.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2012
DEAR ABBY: I'm really bad when it comes to speaking. I barely squeak out the few words I can. I am shy, so when I'm with people, even my two friends, I feel like I come across as rude. I never have the right things to say. When I'm with my family, I don't have this problem. In public, it seems like everyone else is so more interesting. Is there anything that can be done? I heard you had a booklet about being more social. How can I get one? - Victoria in South Carolina DEAR VICTORIA: Making conversation may seem hard because it is a SKILL that you haven't yet mastered.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 15, 2012 | By Howard Shapiro and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The actor Jim Parsons has become famous playing a quirky physicist on TV's The Big Bang Theory, and now he's on Broadway, doing wonderful justice to a character with a completely different set of quirks. While Parsons' Dr. Sheldon Cooper is a fussy guy who sticks religiously to a routine and lacks empathy and social skills, Parsons in Broadway's revival of "Harvey" plays an accepting man overloaded with empathy and social skills so literal, they allow him no room for sarcasm or even a touch of irony.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2012 | By Ian Hamilton, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Undergraduate students at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, have built an Android app to help students through social awkwardness. The app, called AwkTalk, was developed by students for AppJam, a competition to build the best mobile app in one week. The theme for the competition was self-improvement and the team "Socially Awkward Anteaters" won the $1,000 first prize in the competition with the app. "We were all aware that many of our colleagues in the fields of computer science and engineering (ourselves included)
NEWS
September 25, 2011
Barry McCurdy is director of the Devereux Center for Effective Schools at Villanova A.B. Day Elementary "gets it. " Its website tag line, "Providing all students with the academic, technological & social skills needed to be productive & contributing citizens in our society," is more than idle words. This East Germantown school's emphasis on social skills, on par with academics, has resulted in a positive school climate, fewer disruptive behaviors, and greater academic success.
NEWS
August 9, 2011 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
The typical day at Camp Sequoia on the Hill School campus in Pottstown is notable for what is absent. There are no TVs or video games that lead some children to huddle by themselves in corners. There are no cellphones or laptops to take them away from their peers. Instead, the children are attending the experimental overnight camp to learn confidence and to improve their social skills - all in an atmosphere of summer fun. "It's good for campers who need help with building independence or [overcoming]
NEWS
June 24, 2011 | By Carolyn Hax
While I'm away, readers give the advice. On persuading an overweight child to tackle the weight problem: I've struggled with weight all my life. I was also a foster parent for 20 years, taking in underloved and unlovable children of all ages. I couldn't reason with these kids, and they'd already been yelled at and shamed enough to last a lifetime. Over and over I learned (from family therapists) the value of positive reinforcement and of teaching by example, as well as of setting the mood and attitude in my home.
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