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Social Skills Coaching by Wendy, LLC
By Wendy Halley

I worked for over twenty years in both the Special Education and mental health fields. During this time, I learned some unfortunate realities which prompted me to open Social Skills Coaching’s (SSC) doors.  Firstly, most support services are for those who are severely challenged and not for the functionally challenged. In addition, the majority of state funded services end when the individual graduates high school. This is what struck me the most. It is at this critical transitional juncture into adulthood when support services are needed the most and yet they end.

I found myself working fulfilling tasks in unfulfilling positions. This lack of professional fulfillment motivated me to explore the social component of these two fields.  I moved away from the more clinical/research/academic educational positions and gravitated towards the social/ behavioral positions. 

I was excited to be hired part time as the Yachad Pittsburgh Coordinator, a Special Needs division of the national Jewish organization, The Orthodox Union.  This position gave me the opportunity to empower multiply challenged young adults with the expected social skills to “fit into” the greater Pittsburgh Jewish community. I wanted to support the intellectually challenged, by helping coach the mystifying missing piece(s) to “fitting in”.

This professional journey propelled me to start my own social skills practice, Social Skills Coaching by Wendy, LLC. My driving passion is to be a transitional service provider, providing personalized support to individuals with differences as they bravely find their way of fitting into our shared social world. I have found that for all individuals to feel like they “fit in” there are three critical areas where social skills coaching, if not acquired yet, then at this stage, is needed the most:

  1. Learning and applying the unwritten social rules which (unfortunately) society expects everyone to know and conduct oneself accordingly,
  2. Reading and responding appropriately to others non-verbal messages, as well as awareness of one's own non-verbal messages, and
  3. Learning to appropriately tolerate the day-to-day discomforts of life.

SSC’s skill Empowerment model consists of two main steps, first, giving a space for young teens and adults to be coached in a one-on-one manner to learn the skills, and second, the client applies the newly learned skills with customized support out in the social world.  I am happy to be a support in an area where there used to be a void.

“...because fitting in is something we all want to do.”

For more information, visit social-skills-lessons.com



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