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  • Writer's pictureChattykiddo

Benefit of Social Skills groups- does your child get this exposure and experience in school?

Does your child prefer to play alone? Does he/she avoid social gatherings, new playgrounds and parks? Or maybe your child has difficulties interacting with peers appropriately, while using functional language, kind words and creative play ideas? If so, what can you do to help?!

Children who struggle with social interactions can benefit greatly from expert-led social skills groups (we call ours Social Club). Such groups offer a safe space to learn and practice developmentally expected social communication and play skills. Some of the skills typically targeted are attending to group activities, appropriate turn-taking, initiating and reciprocating communication, using nonverbal and verbal signaling (e.g. eye gaze, gestures), conversational skills, as well as overall social awareness. Additionally, these specialized groups are highly beneficial for children with a speech-language delay or social pragmatic differences/challenges (e.g. children with Autism characteristics). The groups can also be tremendously helpful to typically developing children who are just socially reserved and need to practice engaging with others more freely. The groups are specifically built to match children developmentally according to both age and skill level.

Social skills groups have been well reserached over the last few decades. Many studies have demonstrated that children who participated in structured social skills training groups made significant gains in their social interactions, self-perception and cognitive problem-solving skills.

You might ask yourself why is a Social Skills group a better option than social interactions occurring in my child's school setting? And the answer is- Social Skills groups are designed to work as a small group setting and to be led by educators specializing in the pragmatics of language (pragmatics is concerned with how we USE language to communicate and interact with others).

Clearly, having well-developed social skills goes beyond the ability to play well together at a local park! These important skills help children build healthy, often, life long relationships with others, improve mental health and the ability to cope with stress, as well as foster the development of empathy.

Heather G, SLP-A

Natalie T, SLP

for Chattykiddo Pediatric Therapy

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