Do I need social skills class for my child?

Cultivating good social skills is a critical part of all of our lives! Social skills help us to successfully communicate with others, make good choices, and know how to behave in a variety of settings. Typically-developing children learn most of their social skills through imitation and observation. However, children with developmental delays have difficulty reading those social cues and interpreting non-verbal communication. For those children, these skills need to be directly taught. These skills can influence:

  • Academic Performance
  • Family and Social Relationships
  • Behavior in General
  • Child Safety

A quality social skills class can help prepare children for a private or public school setting. If your child has been unsuccessful in school, you may find that a few months in a classroom that focuses on communication and behavior will help.

4 students building social skills by playing board games

Children with

May be better able to handle stressful events or changes, and seek out appropriate responses to feelings of frustration or anger. They might also be better at following directions and ignoring distractions, which is critical for both academic performance and safety practices. These children may also be better prepared to enter a private or public school setting.

a certified aba instructor breaking up an altercation

Children without

May tend to evoke negative responses from others, leading to difficulty maintaining positive interpersonal relationships with peers, teachers, and parents. Experiencing peer rejection may lead to further inappropriate behavior on the part of the child, creating an unfortunate cycle.


Most of us pick up this set of skills as children, during our everyday interactions with adults and peers. However, some children are unable to do so and require direct teaching and practice. We work with small groups of children, as specific skills are taught, practiced, and reinforced.

Tangible Difference Learning Center's Social Skills Classes are set up like a school classroom, with one lead Social Skills teacher instructing the class. There are also class "shadows" - therapists that are paired with 2 to 3 children each. The shadows generally do not interfere with the children's activities, but intervene and redirect a child if he or she is not following directions, paying attention, making good choices, or behaving appropriately. The shadows remain as unobtrusive as possible, so that the child is able to pick up on social cues, instructions, and lessons on their own whenever possible.

Social Skills for younger children

Social Skills for older children

A few kids running on a field

How skills are developed

Our goal is to work on skills that will be useful in a child's everyday life. These skills include:

  • Improving listening and attention
  • Asking for help
  • Apologizing
  • Maintaining conversations
  • Sharing
  • Asking for permission
  • Maintaining positive social interactions and relationships
  • Self-control during feelings of anger or frustration
  • Using appropriate body language
  • Problem solving techniques
  • Self-care, grooming and hygiene
  • Being a good sport and a good friend

Are there social skills limitations at TDLC?

We currently do not serve children older than 10 years. Children who demonstrate severe developmental delays or behaviors that interfere with their own or the other children's learning are not considered ready or appropriate for our Social Skills Class. If a child seems unable to understand and follow the concepts taught, or demonstrates behavior that disrupts the class repeatedly, we will suggest that the child be removed from the class and placed in our one-on-one ABA therapy program.

The children in our class are matched with peers of similar ages and academic, social, and language abilities. In order to do this, we screen children very carefully, via a mandatory initial consultation meeting. This meeting can be set up by calling our office.