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Social Skills

What are they?

Social skills include the ability to: communicate your emotions and intentions clearly; negotiate with others and hold a two-way conversation; read other's body language and corectly interpret other's intentions;  understand what is expected in different situations and not lash out when teased or misunderstood.

Why are poor social skills a problem?

Children with poor social skills may report feeling lonely, having no friends, being teased or feeling anxious, aggressive or avoidant about their peers. They may be labelled as 'naughty' when its simply that they dont 'know' the social rules or don''t have the emotional tools to manage a social situtaion. Some may continually dominant conversations with their friends andother children with immature social skills may prefer to play alone or play with younger children, as the play and socialising is easier.

We need social skills to maek friends, get along with others, get and keep and progress in our jobs and be successful in adult relationships.

How can OT help?

Developing social skills in young children may invole modelling correct play and teaching emotional regulation.  For older primary and middle school children, working on social skills may involve: managing anxiety or anger; learning how to read body language or understand metaphors; practicing conversations or using the Model Me Kids dvds and workbook to understand how to respond in a variety of situatons. 

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