IRD PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Interpersonal Relationship Development (IRD) program is a 14-week program that offers evidence-based rules and steps for social behavior to enhance the quality of life for individuals who experience limited social interactions due to social challenges and low self-esteem. The program also offers a Social Coach component in order to further reinforce generalization of the interpersonal skills learned.
WHAT IS A SOCIAL COACH?
- Someone who is a supporter of your success and helps you to reach your life goals, your cheerleader (i.e., family member, responsible friend, service provider [ILS/SLS]). They are likely to be with you in various situations and observe your use of learned skills and praise you for your growth.
- You get to choose!
- They do not lecture you about how you learn the skills or how you use them.
- They do explore with you opportunities for using your skills and can discuss the social skills with you and help you practice skills to enhance your confidence for connecting with others.
- 14 sessions, 1-1/2 hours each week, with a group of 10 individuals
- Sessions are held virtually;
- During each group session adults are taught important interpersonal skills through engaging activities in a safe and respectful environment;
- Lessons are taught in engaging learning activities;
- Weekly homework assignments;
- Homework assignments entail interactive activities with other members of the group;
- Social Coach session is held in a separate group; and
- Two Counseling/Coaching Sessions for each participant for self-reflection and discussion of life goals and self-development.
Regional Center Adult Individuals:
- Who are at least 18 years of age
- Who are able to navigate the community independently
- Who attend or plan to attend college
- Who are employed or attend vocational programs in the community
- Who are in supported work programs
- Who do not have history of maladaptive behaviors that interfere with daily functioning
TOPICS OF INSTRUCTION
- How to start and maintain a reciprocal conversation
- How to choose appropriate peer groups and identify healthy relationships
- How to use electronic communication responsibly and appropriately with others (social media etiquette)
- How to handle disagreements
- How to appropriately let someone know you like them (dating etiquette)
- How to establish and maintain meaningful relationships
When participants attend all group sessions as scheduled and follow the program in the way suggested, it is anticipated that participants will be able to demonstrate:
- Enhanced ability to start and maintain reciprocal conversation with others;
- Enhanced ability to identify and use socially acceptable behaviors for face-to-face and online social interactions;
- Enhanced ability to identify healthy relationships;
- Enhanced ability to manage their own social support through planned get-togethers; and
- Enhanced ability to develop and maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships.