The Importance of Developing Social Skills

What are social skills, and why are they important?  Educationalplaycare.com states: “Developing social skills in children prepares them for a lifetime of healthier interactions in all aspects of life.  Social skills are an integral part of functioning in society.  Displaying good manners, communicating effectively with others, being considerate of the feelings of others and expressing personal needs are all important components of solid social skills.”  Parents and family play a big part in developing these social skills- but FRIENDS also play an increasingly important role as your child grows up.   

With the shutdown of schools and most extra-curricular activities it is imperative for parents to include time for friends- even if virtual.  At GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley we understand that while many of these skills develop naturally as your child progresses, but we also know that individuals with Down syndrome sometimes need to be explicitly taught skills that may develop naturally in other children.  Therefore we are providing opportunities to practice these social skills with our Social Skills for Young Learners program.   

This program will begin virtually and will be led by Alexis, and will focus on targeting functional pragmatic skills. Social learning will be provided through play with a focus on a variety of targets including: social communication, emotions, eye contact and big and small problem solving skills.  The group will promote peer to peer interaction in a fun, friendly and welcoming environment. Family members are encouraged to participate in the program, and caregivers will play an active role in the program. 

This program will begin virtually with practicing skills necessary to acclimate back to school.  The first 3 sessions will be LIVE and also recorded for ON DEMAND learning.  The first 3 lessons will focus on: 

  1. Washing Hands 
  1. Wearing a Mask 
  1. Keeping Socially Distant 

The more often these skills are practiced the more normalized they will become making the transition back to school much easier.  Please RSVP for Social Skills for Young Learners on our website at: gigisplayhouse.org/foxvalley/calendar. 

We hope you will join us for Social Skills for Young Learners starting Wednesday, July 15th! 

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