Could your child benefit from a social group?
Written by: Vasilikitsa Antonopoulos
Social skills are more than just communicating with others; they are the ability to engage in conversation, problem-solve, recognize and relate to other’s feelings, and respect other’s differences and opinions. Social skills are the basis for friendships, and eventually the ability to succeed and keep a job. For some people, social skills do not come naturally and require time and effort to develop.
What are social groups?
A social group is a collection of people who interact with each other and share a sense of unity. Social interaction is its basic condition and includes:
- Mutual friendships
- Common goals and objectives
- Having a sense of solidarity
- Developed cooperation
- Achieve common goals
- Dynamic instead of static
How can therapists help?
Social groups which are led by skilled therapists, facilitate a safe environment to practice and teach the appropriate skills needed for interaction with peers of the same age. Depending on the age group, therapists can address the skills needed for interaction such as greetings, maintaining a conversation, appropriate body language and personal space, problem-solving, and controlling emotions. Therapists can provide a safe space for kids to role-play and practice new social skills while receiving positive feedback.
What are the benefits of social groups?
There are many positive outcomes of social groups, including:
- Interaction with peers their age
- Improving turn-taking skills
- Increasing verbal initiation of greetings and maintaining conversation
- Initiating and joining in play
- Dealing with confrontation and rejection
- Learning how to cooperatively play
- Understanding nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, body language and personal space
- Problem-solving and negotiation
- Listening to others
- Building social confidence
Who can benefit from a social group?
If you have any concerns about your child’s ability to communicate and interact with others to create meaningful relationships, social groups are a great resource for you and your child. Some indicators for enrolling your child in a social group:
- Your child often ignores or avoids other children in public places.
- Your child demonstrates difficulty initiating or maintaining a conversation.
- Your child feels afraid to attend social gatherings such as birthday parties.
- Your child lacks opportunities to interact with peers of the same age.
- Your child’s teacher reports difficulty with peer interaction at school
- Your child uses physical actions instead of words to communicate to others.
At Lumiere Children’s Therapy, we offer social-skills groups led by skilled therapists to help children gain the skills and confidence to interact successfully with peers and the community. The clubs are designed for children 2–11 to practice and master age-appropriate social skills. Our clubs focus on developing the appropriate play, conversational, collaboration and success in school. For more information or to register, please call 312-242-1665.
Posted on November 09, 2017 at 1:34 PM