I wrote this post mostly out of curiosity and because I'm rather fascinated by the work my difficult child is currently doing in this. Next two paragraphs are mostly background. If you are in hurry you can skip them, I get to my point after that I wrote this here because I found this more general issue than issue with an adult child. My difficult child is an adult and I'm not really anyway involved in this process other than maybe giving some mommy's advises here and there if he asks them (and sometimes if he doesn't.) But he is in the process there he is trying to learn social skills. He has always been socially clumsy and being severely bullied through almost all of his school years certainly didn't help and gave him PTSD. He is also just starting his career in pro team sport, so social skills would become handy. He is not well-liked by his team mates and most consider him to be a total a**hole. His team has hired a psychologist specialised on mental coaching to help difficult child both in sport performance related mental things but also to get a hold of his personal life and being part of the team. Bettering his social skills are very much in agenda. difficult child is smart, motivated and chronologically and legally adult, just turned 19. His biological age is around 2 or 2,5 years behind his chronological age and his mental age much more behind I think. But that of course is not as easy to measure as biological age. When he was young, we taught many social skills by repetition. It was easy (took a lot of repeats, but finally he did got it) for very structured situations like talking with the cashier in the shop, greeting people he met etc. How to play with peers was much more difficult. We tried to role play, tell social stories etc. and he learned some. But he was still very awkward socially and still is. And unfortunately comes easily off as very arrogant. He gets the clear cut rules mostly, but subtle things are very difficult for him. Nowadays he usually does well in structured situation, for example he gives appropriate interviews and says all the right things (and not any of the wrong things) for sport reporters. He can even handle tv cameras. But when he is spending time with his peers, he is in trouble. He can be too boisterous and intimate with people he doesn't know well (but would like to make friends with), doesn't really get boundaries and doesn't read well subtle (and not so subtle) cues of others being annoyed with him. Or over reads them and thinks everyone hates him and thinks he is entitled to lash out on them. He is also a perfect drama queen and goes from one extreme to opposite in the blink. (What a lovely child I have ) I saw a 'worksheets' this mental coach is making my difficult child work with and found it quite interesting. They have categorized every person my difficult child is dealing with to different categories. Family, girlfriend, girlfriend's 'interest groups', close friends, casual friends, acquaintances, his coaches and other staff, peer team mates he is friendly with, older team mates with whom he has positive relationship with/who are trying to help him, his most direct competitor, team mates who avoid him but are not hostile, team mates who despise him etc. They are going through all these groups, what kind of interaction is appropriate with them, what he can expect from them, how to behave with them and better those relationships. Some of the advise is very straightforward like 'avoid being left alone with, greet but keep your mouth shut otherwise, only answer if asked something and shortly even then' for hostile team mates but there is also much subtle stuff how to better his positive relationships. This mental coach gives difficult child a lot of direct advise, but he also listens how difficult child feels about these relationships and they talk a lot about relationships in theory. He uses social stories and asks difficult child to work out a lot of hypothetical situations and brainstorm with him all kinds of possible solutions and how doing or saying this or that would affect. They have also made 'emotion charts' for these different categories and talked about how people in these categories would likely feel or react to difficult child doing this or that. difficult child also has to keep relationship diary, that they go through afterwards. It is very, very hands on and pragmatic and I found that interesting, because I have often felt it is very difficult to try to teach social skills without being too abstract, too idealistic or in the other hand only teaching very structured interactions. Of course I can't imagine my difficult child would had been open to this kind of teaching few years ago, because he would had been too hurt, affronted and not motivated or mature enough to work over those feelings. Of course I don't yet know if this will help him any, but it is probably most hopeful thing I have ever seen with my difficult child's social skills. And mental coach has been smart to start from most motivating and rewarding (and probably one of the easiest) parts: How to make your girlfriend happier When difficult child was younger, counsellors, school etc. were always talking about teaching social skills, but other than we teaching him those easy, structured situations, this is the first time there has actually been something concrete teaching for difficult child.