What are Social Skills and why are they important?
Good social skills are critical to successful functioning in a child’s life. Social skills allow us to know what to say but also know how to say it. They allow us to be flexible and successful in a variety of social settings, how to make good choices, and help us to create long term friendships and relationships. Overall, social skills are the basis of what makes communication, communication.
While most children learn appropriate social skills through their everyday interactions, some children do not and have difficulty learning from casual modeling within every day activities.
Children with poor social skills can have difficulty:
- making relationships and friendships with peers’
- can have increased frustration or negative behaviors
- miss social and contextual cues (e.g. nonverbal, gestural)
- difficulty understanding body postures (e.g. facial expressions, personal space)
- difficulty reading or understanding other’s emotions
- difficulty understanding other people’s perspectives
At Kara Dodds & Associates, our speech therapy programs are tailor made to help children organize and learn social skills in a manner supported with visual examples (e.g. social stories, personal stories), along with therapy activities supported with modeling and materials that allow for structured teaching making it easier for children to learn the art of appropriate social skills.
How do our speech pathologists teach Social Skills?
Our therapist work with children both individual and in small groups to teach necessary skills to improve social communication based on individual need.
We structure our programs around a variety of methods including:
- Michelle Garcia Winner “Social Thinking” curriculum
- Dr. Jed Baker curriculum
- The “Zones” of Social Skill curriculum
- Social Stories and/or Personal Stories
We also use an eclectic approaches by implementing video modeling and music therapy techniques making learning social skills fun for kids. Goals typically target areas of improved interpersonal skills (e.g. sharing, joint attention, joining an activity, turn taking), problem solving (e.g. asking for help, manners, making decisions), conflict resolution (e.g. making decisions with peers, accepting no for an answer, peer pressure).