What are social skills?
Social skills are what we use on a daily basis to interact and communicate with others. These include verbal communication (speech) and non-verbal communication (gesture, facial expression and body language). If you have strong social skills, you would have good knowledge of how to behave in social situations, and would be able to understand both written and implied rules when communication with others.
Why are social skills important?
Having good social skills enhance participation in the community and support happiness and friendships. When we have “empathy” (being able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and recognise their feelings), it allows us to respond in an understanding and caring way to how others are feeling.
What are social skills groups?
Social skills groups offer an opportunity for people to practice their social skills with each other and/or typical peers on a regular basis. Skills targeted include perspective-taking, conversation skills, friendship skills, problem-solving, social competence, emotion recognition, theory of mind, and problem-solving. In addition, groups also work on specific interaction skills such as initiation, responding, maintaining, greeting, giving/accepting compliments, turn taking, sharing, asking for help, and offering help.
How do we run a social skills group?
Group sizes depend on the age and needs of the children. For children who are younger and more needs, groups are limited to 4 children. For older children and teenagers, groups are usually run with 6 to 8 participants in each group.
Usually, before the group commences, each child is screened for the social skills that need to be targeted. Goals for each child would then be developed. Children with similar goals would be placed in the same group. Groups are run regularly and the number of sessions depends on the group goals. During the groups, a clear format is followed to have a set beginning/end time, and time for various activities.
The most powerful social lessons are not taught. They are experienced through lasting friendships. Through our Social Skills Groups, your child will learn critical skills like eye contact, conversation and more. A licensed psychologist, therapist or special educator will facilitate participants as they develop life long skills that will help them develop meaningful relationships for life.