Children with special needs often have a difficult time reading and understanding social cues. Try these 7 activities from Thrive Therapy to help improve his or her social skills.

7 Activities To Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

Eye Contact

Making eye contact is the way we show others we are interested in what they have to say and relays our ability to listen.

1) Have a staring contest. Make a game of it by challenging your child to see who breaks eye contact first.

2) Eyes on the forehead. Another good idea is to put some sort of sticker on your forehead ( a set of eyes is great if you can find them ) This is a fun way to encourage them to focus on your forehead.

3) Swinging. As you child swings have then try to reach you with their feet. The sensory input often has a calming effect that allows them to focus on you. Be sure to praise them afterwards for looking into your eyes. Idioms can be confusing for any child and even more so for those with ASD. Some activities to help them better understand idioms. An idiom is a wise saying that offers advice about life and transfers some values of a given culture or society. One example is the ball is in your court which means it’s up to you to make the next decision.

4) Books about idioms. There many books for children that illustrate and explain idioms.

5) Online. You’ll find lots of websites that list idioms or have games to try guessing the meaning.

6) Memory or matching games. Start by writing down idioms on a piece of paper and their meaning on another. Then have your child try to match the meaning to the idiom.

7) Emotional charades. The game of charades with a twist. Rather than movies titles, book titles or activities you use emotions by writing out feeling words on pieces of paper. As each person draws a slip of paper they try to act out the feeling or emotion on it. If kids prefer you could draw the emotion instead of acting it out like a game of pictionary. Or try using a rule that doesn’t allow using a face to draw the emotion or feeling. They would then have to express by drawing  the body language or aspects of the situation that would lead to that emotion. For example feelings of sadness could be a child sitting alone on a bench or the feeling of love might be someone hugging the child.

Thanks to Toronto Child Therapists Thrive Therapy for these tips.