I am a speech/language pathologist and I am currently working with 2 children who have significant delays in the area of social skills. One is a boy who is 10 years old and the other is a girl who is 8 years old. Both sets of parents are so upset that their child doesn't have any friends and doesn't know how to make friends. I have been using different activities to help them in this area, but I have had little success. My big question is how to help children take that first step to even wanting to make friends? The Parents tell them to join in, but how do I help them even get to the point of wanting to join in?
I would greatly appreciate any ideas/suggestions. I've been looking for books/childrens' t.v. shows that might help me, too.
In reply to Cindy Memmel
Without knowing their prior medical history or any other language/learning delays, I am going to suggest things based on their situation being a strictly pragmatic problem.
One suggestion would be to find out what interests these children have. Find the one that they are the most passionate about and look for or start a social event around that. Enlist classmates and practice with them exhibiting their skill prior to the event. When the event occurs, encourage them to showcase their abilities. Have the parents video it and then review it with them, if they are open to it, emphasizing how social they were to help them start visualizing themselves as such. Books and TV shows are great but seem more solitary than social activities. Another suggestion would be to inquire at school if a "buddy" program exists or could be started. This is where an older student would be paired with them to do activities and increase their social interaction.
Brenda Baldeon, SLP.D, CCC