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  • Ashley Contreras, OTAS, Allyson Coe, OTR

Social Skills


Social skills are the skills individuals use in every day life in order to communicate and interact with other people within their environment. Such skills include both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication including speech, facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, and body language.

When kids have difficulties with social skills, they may struggle with making friends, maintaining relationships with peers, communicating appropriately with adults or unfamiliar people, reading and understanding social situations, understanding jokes, comprehending various forms of figurative language, and coping with failure or losing a game.

Thankfully, there are various games and activities that can help children to improve their social skills. Such tasks include playing with the child to help them further develop their turn-taking, attention, and appropriate play skills with various toys. Social stories can help increase a child's understanding of a specific situation or concept that may be difficult to understand or comprehend, such as a trip to a museum or fire drills at school. Other activities that can help kids develop good social skills include visual aids such as posters for tips on appropriate nonverbal communication, role playing various social situations, singing songs about emotions, or making masks to help maintain eye contact.

If a kid is demonstrating difficulty with social skills their parent should consider consulting with their child's pediatrician or health care professional about a referral to speech or occupational therapy.

References:

Kids Sense. Social Skills. Retrieved from https://childdevelopment.com.au/areas-of-concern/play-and-social-skills/social-skills/

#socialskills #playskills #occupationaltherapy #pediatricoccupationaltherapy #speechdevelopment #speechtherapy

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