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Social Learning

A Very Important Skill 


Although students aren't graded on social tests from their teacher, their peers are constantly giving them “grades” on “social tests” every day.  If the student can pass the peer social markers, they usually feel included and well liked.  However, if a child can’t meet the social expectations, they may feel disconnected and left out. This scenario plays out daily in school. 


Navigating socially is a tough challenge requiring social thinking skills not taught in school. Fortunately social skills can be built over time. Social skill development is critical because these skills effect virtually every form of interpersonal interaction, including the academic tasks of literature comprehension, the understanding of socially based themes presented in texts or movies and interpreting directions given by a teacher. 


Here are a few questions to get an idea if there are lagging skills:

  • Can they understand social and nonverbal cues?
  • Can they begin conversations with peers and join a group setting appropriately?
  • Can they express needs and wants effectively?
  • Can they express my own emotions and understand the emotions of others?
  • Can they understands how my behavior affects other people and understand how my behavior is coming across to others?
  • Can they walk in another’s shoes and understand someone else’s with others’ perspective points of view?


Social proficiency is as important as academics and a top requirement for a fulfilling career.  In fact, the skills most highly sought after by employers include:  communication skills, ability to work in teams or groups, understanding the big picture, ability to listen for meaning and comprehension, ability to prioritize work self evaluate, self reflation, and problem solving.  While technical skills may help someone land an interview, it is the social proficiency (such as those listed above) that gain the job.


The lagging social skills are critical because this deficit affects virtually every form of interpersonal interaction. It also impacts school work such as comprehension of literature and understanding socially based themes presented in texts or movies. It also affects interpreting directions given by the teacher. 


If we understand that social skills involve social adaptability and the related social interpretation of others thoughts and desires, we realize how essential these skills are for not only interactions but for situations such as quietly sharing a space in a classroom or when working a job.  


IMPORTANT: 'I LAUGH' is for both a social and academic functioning Social Thinking:

I initiation of communication

L listening with eyes and brain

A abstract & inferential language/communication 

U understanding perspective

G gestalt processing / getting the big picture

H humor and human relatedness


Powerful Change Group uses Social Thinking®! which provides strategies to teach essential life skills including social-emotional learning and self-regulation across all environments.   


It is important to note that, this program, including its teacher or leader, is not affiliated with, nor has it been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by Michelle Garcia Winner and Think Social Publishing, Inc.

 Strong social thinking skills are important for success in the classroom, with peers and the community.  

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