"Helping you to help your ADD ADHD child"by Anthony Kane, MD
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How to Teach Your Child Social Skillsby Anthony Kane, MD
Children with learning disabilities tend to be less skillful in social interactions and have difficulty creating and maintaining good peer relationships. They tend to be less accepted by peers, interact inappropriately, awkward in social situations, and misread social cues. There is now a greater awareness that we must to teach special needs children appropriate social skills.
Factors that Lead to Social Skill Deficits
Not all children with learning disabilities have difficulty with social skills. There are three factors that often lead to social skill deficits. These factors are more common in special needs children. These are:
Also, girls are more likely to experience social adjustment problems than are boys.
What You Can Do: The Social AutopsyIt is vital that you as a parent takes steps to help your child develop the social skills that he needs to succeed in life. This is not particularly hard to do, but it must be done.
One of the easiest techniques developed to help children learn to improve their social ability is called the social autopsy. This is a strategy in which you assist your child to improve his social skills by jointly analyzing social errors that your child makes and by planning alternative strategies. This process is particularly effective in helping your child to see the cause-effect relationship between his social behavior and the reactions of others.
This is what you do:
After your child makes a social error you should discuss with your child what happened. Your goal is to teach your child to:
Remember, a social skills autopsy is not a punishment. It is a supportive and constructive problem-solving strategy.
The Social Autopsy in ActionFor example, if your child has a friend over and they fight over a toy and the friend goes home upset, then this is what you can do:
When to Use the Social AutopsyYou can use the social autopsy to analyze and improve upon your child's mistakes. However, you also can use it to emphasis your child's successes.
When your child does particularly well in a social setting, you can assist him in examining and identifying the behaviors that contributed to his success. This teaches him to repeat those behaviors in other settings.
Why the Social Autopsy WorksThe advantage of using the social autopsy technique is that it focuses on the three things that special needs children require in order to develop and learn:
Some Things to RememberWhen you apply the social autopsy approach with your child, it is important to remember a number of things:
ConclusionIf you have a child with ADD ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, learning disabilities, or cognitive or functional problems, you have to take special care to make sure that he is developing socially as well as academically. The social autopsy is one technique that you can use to teach you child better social skills.
Anthony Kane, MD
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