Helping your child succeed with everyday social situations

Ask the Experts by Amy McIntyre and Michelle Harr

Q: I’m a parent of two teens who couldn’t be more different. My daughter is my “social butterfly” and I can’t keep up with her social calendar, while my son seems to struggle interacting with peers, and doesn’t have one “real” friend. He has trouble with maintaining attention/focus. What can we do to help him succeed with everyday social situations?

A: Pragmatic language therapy in an individual therapy situation would be a great start for your son. After comprehension of the ins and outs of social interaction is solid, grouping your son with another peer(s) in a “social group” for practice would be the next step. From there, when the time is right, the group of peers then go out to practice being social together, in other environments. Peer social groups are an important component in the transferring of skills across environments.

Social skill deficits accompany many diagnoses, including but not limited to: anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder and speech-language impairments.

Thanks to The Family Center of Grosse Pointe & Harper Woods, we have an opportunity to provide additional information on this topic along with exploring ways to provide support and learning opportunities for children, tweens, teens and young adults who find social interaction challenging. Join us on November 14 at Christ Church for a helpful discussion.

Socially Challenged: Acquiring Skills Necessary for Everyday Interactions
November 14, 2018
Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms
RSVP online at or call The Family Center 313.447.1374.

Michelle Harr, M.A., CCC-SLP and Amy McIntyre, M.A., CCC-SLP together have 35 years of experience in the field of speech pathology. They are local speech-language pathologists and partners in SPARC Speech and Language Services. Amy and Michelle provide individual therapy and social communication skills groups for kids 18 months through young adults. They can be reached at and Visit the SPARC website at SPARC Speech and Language Services is a member of The Family Center’s Association of Professionals. Enriching Our Community Through Stronger Families The Family Center’s mission is to serve our community through programs and resources vital to today’s families. As a non-profit organization, it is completely supported by community donations. To learn more, visit, call 313-447-1374 or email

Enriched Communities Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community’s hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

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To volunteer or contribute, visit, call (313) 447-1374.
Email: or write to: The Family Center
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236