Humans are social creatures and naturally strive to be part of a group, no matter how small. Group membership has survival value for protection and access to what we find rewarding. However, belonging to a group and establishing an emotional connection with others requires understanding the social rules which are communicated through verbal and nonverbal means. Skills that facilitate interaction and communication with others are referred to as social skills. The building blocks of social skills are the ability to gather information from the body language of others, as well as the other person’s verbal output in order to synchronize a child’s response to the actions of others.
Unfortunately, making social connections can be difficult for many children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Developmental and Learning Disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders. For example, impulsivity and the hyperactivity exhibited by children with AD/HD impairs their ability to attend to important social cues and may make it difficult for the child to regulate their emotional reactions when social conflict occurs. Our clients often fail to notice social nuances, display problems with perspective taking, struggle with maintaining conversations, and are hesitant to initiate social communication.
At Family Psychology Associates, our highly skilled clinicians provide evidence based social skills training for children and teens.. These groups may utilize direct instruction, modeling, behavioral practice, and parent training to help facilitate their social connections. The trainings incorporate skills taught in the following programs: Social Skills Program for Children with AD/HD, Children’s Friendship Training Program, Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills and the Secret Agent Society Program.
The specific skills taught include the following:
- Making and sustaining eye contact
- Gaining awareness of the gestures of body posture and use of body space for self and others
- Active listening and turn-taking in conversation
- Joining in and exiting conversation
- Maintaining a two way conversation
- Providing positive feedback and displaying good sportsmanship
- Differentiating negative feedback from teasing and bullying
- Emotional regulation and conflict resolution
- Arranging get-togethers and the etiquette for get-togethers
- Etiquette for use of electronic communication and social media
- Dating rules, etiquette, and safety when on dates
Dr. Erfanian: Evaluation and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Contact Us to find out more about the next social skills training offered at Family Psychology Associates.