School days can be a perfect opportunity for children to work on social skills. Children are surrounded by their peers throughout the day and there are endless opportunities for interaction.
Here are some opportunities to promote social skills throughout the school day:
- During circle time, snack time and lunch time, have the child sit next to different peers each day. This will promote multiple opportunities to meet new peers!
- Assign different “peer buddies” for the child throughout the day and week. These peer buddies can help assist the child complete tasks, play games with the child, engage them in conversation and model appropriate behaviors.
- Set up small, group structured activities such as completing puzzles, building train tracks, playing a board game or playing catch. It is often easier for children to interact and develop appropriate skills in a small group setting, rather than in a large group.
- For older kids, during lunch time, give the table a topic of conversation to talk about that day to promote conversational skills.
- If children need help throughout the day, prompt them to ask their peers for help, rather than always approaching an adult.
- Set up situations where the child would need to interact with peers. For example, if there is a play dough station, have all the tools with the other peers, so that the child would need to ask their friend for tools in order to complete the activity.
- Parents can also talk to the teacher about peers who the child gets along with, and set up play dates at home with the peers so they can practice those skills in different places.
For additional information, check out our other Autism and school blogs.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!