Children learn social skills by interacting with others as they grow up. Children with learning and cognitive differences, however, can find it more difficult to pick up social cues and behaviors through observation alone. For children facing this situation, social skills groups give them a change to learn them in a nurturing environment.
These groups consist of a small number of children (between 2 and 8) that are led by an adult who facilitates their learning how to interact appropriately with other members of their peer group. They help children to learn skills about engaging in conversation, making friends and solving problems that come up in social environments. These groups can also be useful for children that have difficulty controlling their emotions or understanding other people’s perspective. Groups that teach social skills are typically led by a psychologist, speech therapist or other professional and can be offered both in and outside the school environment.