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September 18, 2017

Child Speech Therapy: Social Groups✨

Social skills are more than just communicating with others; they are the ability to engage in conversation, problem solve, recognize and relate to other’s feelings, and respect other’s differences and opinions.  Social skills are the basis for friendships, and eventually the ability to succeed and keep a job. For some people, social skills do not come naturally and require time and effort to develop. At Lumiere Children’s therapy we offer social skill groups lead by skilled therapists to help children gain the skills and confidence to interact successfully with peers and the community.

What are social groups?

Social groups are led by skilled therapists to facilitate a safe environment to practice and teach the appropriate skills needed for interaction with peers of the same age. Depending on the age group, therapists will address the skills needed for interaction such as greetings, maintaining a conversation, appropriate body language and personal space, problem solving, and controlling of emotions. It is a safe space for kids to role-play and practice new social skills while receiving positive feedback.

What are the benefits of social groups?

There are many positive outcomes of social groups, including:

  • Interaction with peers their age
  • Improving turn-taking skills
  • Increasing verbal initiation for greetings and maintaining conversation
  • Initiating and joining in play
  • Dealing with confrontation and rejection
  • Learning how to cooperatively play
  • Understanding nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, body language, and personal space
  • Problem-solving and negotiation
  • Listening to others
  • Building social confidence

Who can benefit from a social group?

If you have any concerns about your child’s ability to communicate and interact with others to create meaningful relationships, social groups are a great resource for you and your child. Some indicators for enrolling your child in a social group:

  • Your child often ignores or avoids other children in public places
  • Your child demonstrates difficulty initiating or maintaining a conversation
  • Your child feels afraid to attend social gatherings such as birthday parties
  • Your child lacks opportunities to interact with peers of the same age
  • Your child’s teacher reports difficulty with peer interaction at school
  • Your child uses physical actions instead of words to communicate to others

Various types of Social clubs ✨

Social clubs can be beneficial for children ranging from 2-11 years old. These types of gatherings are designed for children to practice and master the age-appropriate social skills in order to graduate to the next social group.

🌟  Ages: 2-3 years old

Focuses on developing appropriate play skills needed to interact with others including functional and pretend play, sharing, and using words to comment or request.

🌟 Ages: 4-5 years old

Focuses on appropriate conversational skills such as initiating, responding, turn taking when speaking, and engaging in appropriate topics.

🌟 Ages: 6-8 years old

Focuses on collaborating with peers such as problem solving, working in groups, and leadership skills. It continues to teach appropriate conversational skills such as topic maintenance, expressing emotions appropriately, and initiating conversation.

🌟 Ages: 9-11 years old

Focuses on social skills needed to succeed in school such as public speaking, group presentation, and creating engaging conversations.

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References:

Patino, Erica. “FAQs About Social Skills Groups.” Understood.org, www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/therapies/faqs-about-social-skills-groups.

Swallow, Deanna. “How Social Groups Can Help Your Child Navigate Friendships.” North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Deanna Swallow Http://nspt4kids.Com/Wp-Content/Uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-Color-logo_noclaims.Png, 28 Apr. 2014, nspt4kids.com/therapy/how-social-groups-can-help-your-child-navigate-friendships/.

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