Not all children are able to develop social communication skills without support. Some children have to learn about other people’s perspective from direct teaching. These children often need to practice and role play in small group settings. Social skills training programs are great ways to teach these children the game of good impression. The game of social impression is all about:
- Specific actions that the child can take to make new friends.
- Specific actions that the child can take to resolve differences with peers.
- Strategies on how to treat friends with respect.
- Teach the child to take responsibility for friendship.
- Teach “The act of sharing, taking turns, being a good listener, talking out problems, avoiding “bossy” behavior, and talking about interest.”
Our early school age campers are taught the foundation of friendship by defining “TALK.” Our campers learn that TALK is about the feelings and ideas we share with people. They learn as “TALKERS” to understand each others’ feelings and ideas. We teach our older school age campers that “A conversation is the way we share information with people. We must choose and use our words carefully. A conversation is when we follow the rules of give and take. Give and take means we are open to other people’s ideas and opinions.“Conversation is fun! It is something that helps us connect with one another.
Any conversation has four simple steps Think, Listen, Interest and Share (TLIS).
- Think about the person, topic, and words to use. It is something that happens naturally
- Listen, you have to really listen to know that the person is truly interested in what you are talking about. The person also has to listen to understand and also respond to you.Interest so you listen, now what? How much interest do you have on the topic of conversation?
- Share, the goal of you sharing is to provide information, to affirm your knowledge of the information shared, to clarify the information or to impact on another person’s knowledge.
Fun/interesting conversations have rules!
Share ,something you have in common “Topics” that are simple and engaging.
Show, some interest if you are showing interest they’ll hang around and want to talk to you even more.
Ask ,simple open-ended questions, because people like to talk about themselves
Pay attention, listen to what is being shared and try to think about what the person really means. Don’t thinking about what you’re going to say next or how you’re going to respond.
Try to share what you know about the topic with how the person you are talking to feels or knows about the topic. Keep it simple and fair.
Uduak (Udie) Osom holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Udie has served students of all ability levels from preschool through grade 12, for over 20 years. She is very passionate about neuro-developmental disabilities and social-cognitive disabilities. She is the owner/director of Innovative Therapy Services, a pediatric speech, language and social skills clinic in Santa Clara, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org