SOCIAL SKILLS

Social skills are ways of interacting and communicating socially with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication refers to understanding and using gestures, facial expressions and body language.

 

Verbal communication includes greetings and use of appropriate language with others. Social communication is vital for a child to maintain positive relationships and interactions with others. Children with diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified) may have difficulties with social skills.

 

If left untreated, the child may have difficulties making new friends, maintaining friendships, understanding social situations, understanding jokes or coping with problems.

Characteristics of social skills problems:

  • Poor, fleeting eye contact

  • Difficulties taking turns with a communication partner

  • Fail to use polite communication

  • Difficulties starting and ending conversations appropriately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can be done?

Assessment: During a social skills/pragmatics assessment, the clinician will gather case history information. Parents, teachers and other supporting team members may be asked to fill out a checklist of behaviours on a scale. The clinician may perform scenario type evaluations directly with the child. The scores are collated, compared to normative data and written up in a report. The information gathered from the assessment will determine if the child is struggling with social communication problems. Typically, the assessment lasts one to one-and-a-half hours. The clinician will recommend the best treatment approach based on information gathered from the assessment.

Treatment: The treatment approach aims to help the child engage appropriately with others during play and in conversations. Specific one-on-one treatment targets are used in the initial stages of treatment. Group treatment is highly recommended to help the child engage socially with other children. Treatment sessions are typically one-hour in duration unless the child has difficulties with the longer time-frame. Home practice activities, social stories and scenarios are given to parents during treatment visits.

  • Interrupts often

  • Problems asking appropriate questions

  • Show little to no interest in what other people say

  • Fail to understand the consequences of their actions

 

If you are unsure if your child has a communication problem, please phone us at Little Star to speak directly to a speech therapist regarding your questions

 

Clinic: 02 4952 3856

Email: littlestarspeechtherapy@gmail.com

Suite 4, 119-125 Beaumont Street, Hamilton, New South Wales, 2303 Australia

@2013 Little Star Speech Thereapy

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