Achieving Gains in Social Skills for Kids
Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families
Parents can make an enormous difference for their kids when it comes to developing social skills. With a little planning and some expert advice, you can see your child achieve gains in social skills and navigating social situations. How can you help your child with these gains? Here are some suggestions:
- Schedule short playtimes. If your child could benefit from additional social skills, scheduling short play dates might be the answer. Call a friend, family member or neighbor who has a child of a similar age and ask if they would like to come over for a short visit. Instead of focusing on a whole afternoon, schedule the visit for thirty minutes to one hour. Provide a small snack and then set up a game or activity that your child loves in an area you and the other parent can supervise. As soon as one of the children finishes with the activity you can end the visit. Over time, these can be expanded.
- Expand the group slowly. While some children can adapt to larger groups with few issues, there are others that benefit from a more controlled environment. If your child prefers smaller groups, then expand the size of their social group slowly. For a while, having one friend over might be enough. After a time you can expand that group to two or three friends for a short visit. This will help your child to adapt to more noise and stimulation over time.
- Be ready to change the activity. When you do get started in group activities, be ready to quickly change to a new game if there is tension in the group. As a parent, it is critical to stay attentive to the kids playing together. If you sense and competition or negative feelings, then offer to help them bake cookies or go out into the yard to pick flowers.
- Work with your teacher. If you have concerns about your child’s level of socialization, don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s teacher. They may be able to offer insight on your child’s progress.
For more information on developing social skills contact Peak Potential Therapy today! Our team can answer your questions and provide expert advice. Call now!