Most adults learned early on how to read facial expressions, recognize subtleties, take turns during conversations, and make eye contact with other people. Social skills like these help us make friends, succeed first in school and later in work, and connect with people around us in productive ways. Although we don’t often give them much thought, social skills are invaluable to navigating our world.
For some children, social skills don’t come easily.
Children with learning difficulties, Asperger’s or autism, attention issues, or language delays often lack the skills needed for successful peer relationships, but they aren’t the only ones. Some common signs of social difficulties in children include feeling afraid in social settings, frequent conflicts during interactions with others, and inflexibility during play.
In the same way that children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida benefit from physical therapy to improve their ability to physically navigate their surroundings, children who struggle with social skills can benefit from social skills groups to improve their ability to socially navigate their world.
Social skills groups typically include anywhere from two to eight children, grouped together by age, and are facilitated by a qualified adult – usually a child psychologist, speech therapist, or counselor. The facilitator leads the children through different activities that approximate common social situations and provide them with immediate feedback to help them to improve.
Social skills group activities may include role-playing, games, brainstorming, decision making, and stress management. Some of the social skills developed through these groups include greetings, turn-taking, dealing with confrontation, cooperative playtime, building confidence, listening, and negotiations.
Social skills groups are fun, safe, positive environments for learning which provide not just opportunities for social engagement but also individual coaching.
Contact us by phone (770-888-5221) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by the front desk to find out more about social skills groups.