As many of you know, we throw the term “social skills” around, but do we really know and understand the meaning of it?

Since most people don’t, let’s dive into the meaning and some examples of this important term!

Social Skills Defined;

Social skills can be defined as the communication and interactive skills that we use on a daily basis. This can be both non-verbally and verbally including body language, gestures and/or personal appearance.

Social Skills are enormous in today’s society and affects how we interact, perform, and live our lives. Having great social skills helps an individual build and maintain better communication, relationships, efficiency, careers, and overall personal happiness.

Build and Teach Social Skills;

There are many ways to help build and teach social skills in order to interact more appropriately with others. The first way to help with increasing social skills is to teach those skills.

This includes discussing and explaining the skill.

Don’t try to teach all the skills at once; pick one specific skill and focus on it. Once the specific skill is discussed/explained, then teach the skill.

This can be done by brainstorming how the skill will look and sound.

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Once this is completed, practice the skill. Allow the students to use this new taught skill throughout the day in various settings.

Reinforcement of the skill is the only way to help the students learn and remember the specific skill. This can be done by incorporating the new skill into everyday daily routines.

Social skills vary from one student to another. Each student is unique and will require different social skill training. Knowing the student and his/her need is the first step in ensuring which social skill to teach. Contrary to what some believe is the norm, students with and without disabilities both benefit from social skill training. Many times typical developing students need help in certain areas as well.

List Of Social Skills;

There is a broad range of social skills. Here’s a list of some;

● Cooperation-interacting appropriately with others (i.e., sharing, taking turns)
● Participation-attempting a task even when it may be difficult
● Being Patient-listening and waiting his/her turn
● Helping Others-builds interpersonal skills; “giving back.”
● Following Directions-build character and respect for others
● Staying on task-builds focus and persistence
● Accepting differences- teaches diversity and the importance of differences
● Listening-helps, a student, learn to be an “active listener.”
● Communication & interaction-be respectful to others and they should be respectful to you.
● Praising others-teaches students to not “put down” others and letting them know what they have done well
● Being polite and courteous-helps students learn how to interact with others
● Using good manners-when talking, eating or in public
● Respect-ourselves and others; Accepting responsibility for what you say/do; be truthful and honest

When social skills are developed in children, it allows them to prepare for a lifetime of appropriate interactions in every aspect of their life.

Social skills are an integral part of functioning in the society in which we live.

Some components of solid social skills are;

  • Being Considerate of Others’ Feelings,
  • Having Good Manners,
  • Expressing Individual Needs
  • Effectively Communicating With Others

When students develop these skills, they will have a more successful personal and professional life. There are a ton of resources available to assist in developing these life-skills. In addition, many Special Education Tutors can help in the area of Social Skill Development.

Also, remember children learn different skills at different ages. So, don’t try to rush them all at one time.

What has been your experience with Social Skill development? Please leave a comment… we’d LOVE to hear from you!

~ Amanda

Amanda Wagoner, MAT

Amanda Wagoner, MAT

Amanda Wagoner, MAT

Amanda Wagoner, MAT

One comment

  1. My child has had training at school and home for years (he’s 14) with regard to social skills. (nice article by the way thank you).
    But my son has this constant underlying indifference with an “i don’t care aditude” that permeates all communications from him, coupled with “I don’t remember what I did, or said “1 minute earlier; when I ask how could he have reacted differently in the situation.

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