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YouTube: An Effective Tool for Increasing Social Competence in Middle Schoolers

The social pressure cooker that is middle school can be a challenging time for both parents and students. For students with delayed social skills, it can be even more difficult to keep up with the ever changing social landscape.
To boot, things like social media and cell phones increasingly compete for their attention. So, for those socially impacted kids, the question becomes: with such quick moving social action, how do you engage your middle schooler to practice the understanding and use of social skills?

Digital platforms like YouTube, can be an excellent way to demonstrate and talk about the social skills your child or student might be struggling with in a non-threatening, passive way. Seeing social skills in action allows the student to get a look at an entire social situation from multiple perspectives. Being able to pause a video allows you to take a closer look at body language, posture, and facial expressions and revisit what happened multiple times if needed.

Many YouTube channels, like Everyday Speech, have already created social skill content for you. Other therapists have created plays lists targeting specific skills such as perspective taking, listening skills, and conversational turn taking.

Video clips of the lovable and socially awkward Sheldon from Big Bang Theory can be used to demonstrate appropriate vs. inappropriate social skills. You and your student or child can then talk about the behavior. In addition to clips from popular TV shows and commercials that are readily available on YouTube, it can also provide a visual for skills like body language and non-verbal communication. There are YouTuber’s out there who openly talk about their struggles with social skills and provide helpful tips that may be relevant to your middle schooler.

Make sure to pre-screen videos all the way through before showing them. Not all playlists will screen out topics or subjects you find objectionable.  

Post written by Speech-Language Pathologist, Leslie Janezic

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Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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