Understanding social cues doesn’t come easy for children with learning disabilities. Children struggling with learning disabilities do not exhibit critical behaviour to function confidently in social settings. They need opportunities to practice, rehearse and develop confidence in themselves to succeed in all aspects of their lives.

Children with learning disabilities tend to have difficulties in perceiving, initiating, and responding appropriately in various social settings. As a parent, it is important to teach and practice social skills with your child at home to help them establish and maintain positive relationships with their peers, teachers and others around them.

Activities Parents and Children can Work on at Home
To practice comprehension skills with your child, play a topic game by using the letters of the alphabet to create words following a theme (i.e., fruits or vegetables). You can also practice storytelling elements by starting a story and then each taking turns building off each other’s ideas. These games practice social cognition and help develop the ability to understand the speaker’s perspectives. It will help a child navigate through a conversation successfully.

To help your child improve their focus, have a staring contest or place a sticker on your forehead to encourage your child to maintain eye contact during a conversation. This will help your child perceive individual cues and learn how to appropriately respond to them. Through maintaining eye contact, children will not only learn to sustain focus in conversation, but they will develop comprehensive nonverbal communication skills, as well.

To practice expressive language, play a game of charades using emotions or create scenarios where your child must communicate their wants and needs. For example, give your child a wrapper that is difficult to open and wait for them to ask for help. This game will encourage independence, as well as clear and expressive language skills.

Use Interactive Apps
Technology is an innovative tool that can help your child achieve success in an area where they are struggling. Here are a few suggestions:

· Social Detective: to practice social behaviour and thought
· AvokiddoEmotions: to practice body language, emotional cues and responses
· Feel Electric: to practice expressive language and build a larger vocabulary
· Conversation Builder: to practice following, leading and exiting conversations

Parent involvement and support is a vital role in enhancing social skills development in a child. You can practice social skills and optimize learning with your child in many fun ways all while strengthening your parent-child bond.

For more information, visit educationandbehavior.com and theonlinemom.com for more recommendations on fun, interactive and applicable games ranging from instructional modeling to board games and apps!