Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why Your Child Needs Social Skills

When working with a youngster with special needs, it can seem like there are so many demands--medical and therapy appointments, academic remediation, and behavior modification that it's impossible get everything done. One area that often falls through the cracks is social skills.

It's easy to overlook social skills--they may not seem of critical importance compared to other struggles. But they should not be neglected, as they become vitally important later in life. Social skills are required

  • to make and keep friends.
  • to participate in social activities with family, friends, and church members. 
  • to be successful in a classroom, especially when the focus is now on group work. 
  • to function in the school cafeteria, on the playground and in many elective classes. 
  • to be on a sports team or in a performing group such as the band. 
  • to find and keep a job. 
  • to go on a proselyting or service mission.
  • to date and get married. 
I've found that those children who are relatively high-functioning are often the ones with the most glaring problems in this area. Manners and courtesy must be addressed from an early age or these children will not develop the critical skills needed during the teen years. 

How have you been developing your child's social skills?