Social skills are important to communicating and interacting with others and are critical for long-term relationships. The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions while understanding and responding to other people is crucial for a more independent life.
Students with developmental delays often need help in developing these crucial social skills. Direct teaching and guided practice, along with school-wide consistency, help with the development of these skills. Engagement with age-level peers through family and school relationships is encouraged. Modeling appropriate behavior in different social situations, use of video to provide individual feedback, social stories, and role playing are methods to develop and practice desired skills.
Social skills development includes these topics:
- attending to others
- participating in group activities
- introductions and appropriate greetings, depending on relationships
- waiting and taking turns
- recognizing and responding to emotions
- managing frustration
- understanding personal boundaries
- understanding nonverbal communication
- decision making
- conflict resolution
- behavioral control
Students in the Transition Program focus on the transfer of social skills from school to community and work settings.