Social Skills and Life Skills
INPUT INPUT INPUT
You know your child is very smart. He or she may struggle in some areas but overall they are intelligent and sponges in terms of learning. Sometimes social skills and life skills need some enhancing. A lot of the time it is just a matter of giving the child enough information. You may feel like you have said the same things over and over again but for some reason their brains did not receive the information you have worked so hard to bring to them.
Also, some kids think only in black and white. They may not pick up on nuances -- facial expressions, other’s emotions, body language, idioms. BUT very often they can be taught. We spent many hours teaching our Amy idioms. If you think about it: “it’s raining cats and dogs” makes absolutely no sense. Have you ever said to your kids “I am talking until I am blue in the face”? This child is looking literally for a bright crayon blue face.
A lot of kids just naturally absorb the everyday lessons of social skills and life skills -- like -- how to be polite and mannerly or -- the concept of sharing or keeping your hands to yourself even when feeling like hauling off and hitting someone who is iritating. It naturally builds over time. Picking up the fact that brushing your teeth and washing your face and how to make a sandwich and washing dishes and doing laundry are normal everyday things to do in the normal course of life.
Some kids just do not get it the first, or second, or even 20th time around -- unless... someone figures out their specific mode of receiving the information. This is another area of observation and determining what is missing, then, finding the right way to teach the missing part.
Here are some ideas for helping your child to be exposed to information in addition to your personal on-the-spot communication. You will often hear us say INPUT, INPUT, INPUT. Here are some opportunities to INPUT information for your child:
1. Visual Charts: Create a visual chart with the information you want them to have. An appealing chart with pictures and a few words that you can guide the child to check with over and over again is an excellent way to input that information that they do not have YET.
2. Audio Recordings: Put the information on a digital recorder and play it back for them several times throughout the day. You can even create one for the child to listen to while sleeping. Our clients have appreciated working with us in tweaking these inputters (audio and visual) for their children.
3. Curriculum: Work with curriculum to teach certain social skills and life skills. One excellent resource for good curriculum is: http://www.linguisystems.com/. You can put "life skills" or "social skills" in the search box and it will take you to a page where you can input the developmental age with which you are working.
4. Social Stories. Create stories very specific to your child. Here are a few good resources for social stories:
YOU can INPUT the information your child needs (or your students need) to change the course of his or her life.
We encourage you to get equipped with tools to guide you to help develop amazing social skills and life skills in your child or your students that will serve them for a lifetime. Our clients have appreciated our help in working with their specific children. We would love to support you as well. Contact us to set up a complimentary Get Acquainted Call.
Tom and Julie Meekins