Social Skills Challenge

Social Skills Challenges

Social skills problems are just as, if not more, important than academic problems in the development of a child with Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD. Research suggests that adequate social functioning, including healthy peer relationships, plays a primary role in the optimal development of a child. But for many individuals with Learning Disabilities and ADHD, their difficulties in learning also affect their ability to develop positive social skills.

Difficulties may show up as:

difficulty taking turns in conversations, interrupting others
making off topic comments
misunderstanding information and reacting defensively
difficulty understanding humour
difficulty recognizing non-verbal cues, reading body language
difficulty understanding personal space.
These challenges, along with difficulties related to disinhibition (i.e., difficulty to control oneself), preoccupations, rigid thinking, and regulating emotions also impact these children’s ability to make and maintain friendships.

Yet, there is hope. Social skills are not inherently acquired – they must be learned. Although most of us are able to pick such skills up implicitly, these children need to be taught explicitly what to do and when to do it! Therefore, we can work with these children to modify their social skills and give them the skills and information they require to become socially competent adults. Children with better social skills tend to be better accepted by their peers, have better coping skills, and have better school and social adjustment.

See Support Services for listing of groups in the Calgary area