The Importance of Social Skills

As an adult, we often take for granted how many skills we know and implement on a daily basis. From tying our shoelaces, to brushing our teeth, these are skills that must be learned and taught to us from a young age.

Another set of skills that we often don’t think twice about are our social skills. Much like tying our shoelaces, our children need to learn these as well so they can interact with others, build relationships, and maintain friendships.

As a parent reading this you may be thinking “What exactly are social skills?” Well, social skills include:

  • Active listening
  • Taking turns
  • Cooperation
  • Showing empathy
  • Expressing feelings
  • Self-control
  • Understanding social cues
  • Confidence
  • Body language
  • Collaboration
  • Conflict resolution
  • Assertion
  • Listening to and ‘seeing’ another person’s perspective

These skills are a little harder to learn than your average chore, and some kids may require a little more support to develop and demonstrate them. Social skills are highly complex and are built on foundational receptive communication skills (hearing and understanding language from others) and expressive communication skills (sharing thoughts and ideas with others). When we find interacting with others challenging, this can lead to misunderstanding others, navigating conflict, avoidance, decreased confidence and self-esteem, and in extreme cases, social isolation.

“Empathy and social skills are social intelligence, the interpersonal part of emotional intelligence” – Daniel Goleman

If you notice your child is having difficulty developing their social skills, have no fear, the OTFC Group is here. The OTFC Group provides the perfect setting for your children to work on their social skills because they can naturally work on collaboration, communication, and teamwork – by sharing equipment, encouraging one another, playing group games and more, in communal therapy spaces, otherwise known as…

Group Therapy!

Group Therapy is a great alternative to one-on-one learning as it encourages participation from everyone and provides a comforting environment for your child.

The OTFC Group offers a range of group programs alongside school terms during afterschool hours for your convenience. Some of the programs include:

  • OTFC Dance Factory
  • OTFC Pantry
  • Basketball
  • Online gaming
  • Girl Gang
  • OTFC Stables
  • Social Skills Group

Find out more information about each of our groups

Another fun fact is that all the activities included within our group programs are based off a detailed therapeutic practice which focuses on:

  • social skills
  • independence
  • cognitive skills
  • gross and fine motor skills.

If your child takes part in a group, you will also receive a summary at the conclusion, explaining your child’s progress and the specific skills they have worked on over the course of the term.

As beneficial as these group therapy sessions are for developing your child’s social skills, they also have proven to help blossom friendships as well. Several social skills group members (facilitated by OTFC Mile End Clinical Manager Michael Crisci!) catch up outside in the community, for casual catch ups and birthday parties. It truly is a beautiful thing to see.

If this article has piqued your interest, then give us a call! Ask your treating therapist or one of our lovely admin staff for more information about registering your interest in groups now.

We’re now based across three locations Adelaide CBD, Mile End and Parkside.

OTFC Group – We’re Influencing Lives. Creating Possibilities. Making a Difference

OTFC is a South Australian clinic-based service that is centrally located and services children and adolescents from birth through to 21 years of age both locally and nationally. Dedicated to providing a client focused approach where children and families feel validated in their concerns, supported in difficult times, encouraged to be proactive and inspired to facilitate change.

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