Text Box:    	Social skills enable each of us to engage with the world around us in an appropriate and predictable manner.  Basic social skills include conversation skills, recognizing emotions in self and others, non-verbal communication and responding appropriately.  More complex social skills are developed over time allowing us to discuss disagreements, accept criticism, persuade others, and determine appropriate styles of communication for various settings.   Social skills are often acquired throughout childhood and continually refined throughout the lifespan.  Often there are children who donít absorb these skills through their natural exposure in home, school or the community, struggle to make and keep friends.  There are a variety of reasons that children may not learn these skills through exposure and may require more specific instruction.  Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders including Aspergerís Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders have difficulty learning and reading social cues.  Children with ADHD often do not give the necessary attention to social cues to allow for appropriate response.  Children with anxiety may have difficulty in less familiar social settings.  In addition children with a variety of disabilities may have behaviors that separate them from their peers or limit their participation in typical social settings.  

	Social skills groups provide a natural environment for practice while giving a setting were skills can be taught explicitly.  These groups facilitate interaction with clear prompts and support allowing the participants to be successful in the use of new social skills.  Group therapy for social skills also helps children recognize that they are not the only child with these struggles and become more confident that they might be able to make and keep friends.  Children may need help learning basic conversation skills or more advanced skills that involve learning to compromise or responding to conflict.  

	Social skills groups also help parents to understand how to effectively coach their child in utilizing appropriate skills prior to a new situation.  Often social skills instruction may occur following parental embarrassment, which interferes with the parentís ability to assist in building understanding.  Participation in a social skills group helps children and teens build a foundation of social understanding as well as a fine tuning social interactions.
Text Box: Social Skills

April†† 2010

Issue 17

Carolina Center for Counseling

& Behavioral Interventions, LLC

Contact Information

304 A North East Main Street

† Simpsonville, SC 29681††††


Phone: 864 - 963 - 4028

Fax: 877-201-4878


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