Social skills enable children to know how to act in various social situations such as chatting with relatives to playing with friends in school. They help kids to make friends, learn from others and pick up hobbies and so on. These skills help them forge relationships & bonds that are valuable and give them security & self-worth. Plus, good social skills are valuable for the child’s mental health and quality of life.
Here are some best ways to teach your child social skills:
Practice play – Teach the child using toys/props to act out scenarios. For example, a tea or dinner party with dolls, hugging a soft toy, or using a play set to create stories. The play set can be of a railway station, a shop or even a farm.
Role play – This strategy is quite useful in imparting social skills. Example, the games played with other children on playdates or in the park. This can be effective before visiting social places like parks, parties, or malls. For older children, you could incorporate social problems into role play scenarios.
Social stories – Use social stories to teach communication and participation in social activities.
Visual supports – Based on the child’s learning requirements, visual supports could be pictures, words, checklists or prompt cards. Pictures can be used to teach the child how to play a particular game. words or pictures act as prompts for various conversation topics.
Social skills training – ABA therapy lays emphasis on inculcating social skills in children on the spectrum. It is designed to enhance skills associated with social play, social language & social intuition.
We can all work together to develop the social skills children need to shine as adults. With love, patience, support, and strategies, getting a child to flourish socially is no longer tough. It takes time but we will get there.