Why are Social Skills Important?
Social Skills are the foundation for getting along with others. A lack of Social Skills can lead to behavioral difficulties in school, delinquency, inattentiveness, peer rejection, emotional difficulties, bullying, difficulty in making friends, aggressiveness, problems in interpersonal relationships, poor self-concept, academic failures, concentration difficulties, isolation from peers, and depression.
Children with learning disabilities, sensory integration difficulties, Asperger’s Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, neurological disorders, and emotional disabilities often need additional training in Social Skills.
Research (Gresham et al, 2001) indicates that Social Skills groups / training programs that include modeling, coaching, and reinforcement into their programs are the most effective.
* Successful programs also include plans for generalization and maintenance of newly learned skills outside the training environment. Research also indicates that Social Skills training needs to be frequent and intensive in order for skills to be acquired and fluently used. Parents and teachers should be involved to ensure generalization of skills to natural settings.