Social Skills in Children

What are social skills?

As Speech Pathologists working with children, our Brisbane therapists frequently answer questions about how to work on developing social skills in children.  In fact, this is an area in which both Occupational Therapists, and Speech Pathologists often work together to help children achieve their goals.

Why are social skills important?

  • Navigating the rules at the local soccer club
  • Making a new friend on the school bus
  • Talking to extended family at your family BBQ
  • Knowing how to say no to strangers, and identify who is safe to talk to
  • Being able to enter conversations, and tell stories to your friends at school


Many children experience difficulties with social skills

Social skills require a complex interaction between a number of different developmental areas, including motor coordination, executive functioning skills (organisation, inhibition, planning & memory), emotional regulation,  language processing skills, and functional language expression, as well as ‘online monitoring’ skills including meta-awareness of our body language, tone, context & that of our conversational partners.

Whew!  No wonder it’s tricky for some kids.

The good news…

Speech Pathologists & Occupational therapists can help with development of social skills.  We do this by individualised assessment, which looks at the areas described above.  We also collect lots of information from families about how their children currently participate and communicate.

We then make a plan that targets the individual, developmental areas that may need enhancing, as well as work with the families regarding providing opportunities, and reducing barriers to participation at the social level.

With stronger social skills… comes connection.

The ideal long term outcome is that our children can be successful communicators, across social settings & experiences.  That they can persuade, negotiate, retell and explain their ideas whilst they play, and interact in different settings.   This will allow our little people to be more connected, to people, experiences and ideas.

If you would like more information, feel free to contact us at the clinic.  Stay connected to our social media channels this week as we explore this area in more detail – including whether an OT or a SLP is the best therapist to start with!

You can also book a Social Skills Assessment online – either from a Speech Pathologist, or Occupational Therapist.