Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where is a Good Place to Practice Interacting with a Peer?

Where is the first place that most children go to in the morning that typically has lots of other children there as well? THE BUS STOP The child walks down the street and sees other children standing around waiting for the bus.

Some children are talking and laughing while others are standing on the side by themselves. Walk up to a child who is alone and see if he looks up at you as you approach. If he does, go up to him and say something simple, such as "What's up?"

You can follow up by talking a little (you do not want to overwhelm him with a long conversation, initially) about a topic that you think he might be interested in talking about. Here is an example: "Did you see the Mets game last night? I was so happy that they ae finally hitting, especially David Wright." Now wait and see if he responds and take it from there. Maybe next time, the other child will approach you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Easy is it to Make friends?

Some people think that making friends comes naturally to all children. This is not always true. Children who have any type of social skill deficit have difficulty making friends. Why is that?

In order to make friends, a child has to be able to understand the body language and/or cues that their peers are exhibiting, so that he knows whether or not it is the right time to approach them. For example, when a child approaches two children who are talking, he has to know if it is a good idea to interrupt their conversation and begin to speak. This situation often occurs at lunch and at recess.

If he speaks when the two children clearly want to be only with each other, he is quickly rejected. Before speaking to the two children, for example, he has to notice if either of the children look at him and smile or just continue to look at each other. Also, do they turn their backs on the approaching child, or do they turn towards him?

I would love to hear some experiences that the children with whom you work or live have had that are relevant to this conversation.