Social Skills

Appropriate social-emotional responses and appropriate pragmatic language exposure and experiences are key to our social skills curriculum. Aside from having a full-time speech-language pathologist on staff, all Diener teachers are versed in Michele Garcia Winner’s social thinking program. Social skills instruction is woven throughout the curriculum. Whether in small academic groups, sensory and motor exploration, or physical education, students are grouped thoughtfully and work collaboratively to develop social thinking skills. Facilitated social skills instruction during all of those teachable moments from Kindergarten through 6th grade are what truly allow our students to build foundations in meaningful social pragmatic language. As with each program at Diener, social thinking instruction and practice happen both inside and outside the Diener walls. “Peer Buddy” is a signature program at Diener. It was developed to build and sustain relationships with students from neighboring schools. Students connect with their given buddies virtually, through “pen pal” exchanges and, of course, by being together for special activities. Together they attend assemblies and enjoy activities with their buddies throughout the year. The Diener School believes that teaching values and building character are integral to its program. Service projects help students to develop empathy and learn to think responsibly. Students in all grades learn to think about others and understand the value of giving back. A modified version of the well-known “Virtues Project” is incorporated throughout each day. The goal is to create empathy and build character; and create a respectful, safe, and caring learning environment.