National Center for Learning Disabilities

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Connecting Socially

Social Skills for Children - Social Skills Helps

Social Skills

Self-confidence comes from knowing what you do well and using your unique strengths to accomplish your goals. Building successful social relationships may require that you use a different set of skills that may also be affected by your disability, such as the following:
  • Language skills

    Many people with learning disabilities have difficulty choosing the right time to speak, finding the right words or understanding what is being said. This may make it difficult to understand jokes, make quick responses in a fast-paced conversation, or offer questions or comments in return.
  • Reading non-verbal information

    People also communicate using facial expressions or tone of voice. They send messages, or signals, in the way they use their eyes or hold their body. These signals contain important non-verbal information. If you have LD, you may have trouble “picking up” and responding to a message that is being sent in a non-verbal manner.
  • Reading different situations

    It takes experience and careful observation to learn what is socially acceptable in different situations. The way you talk to friends at a party is different from the way you answer questions at a job interview. A conversation on a first date is different from a conversation with a friend. Some people with LD have difficulty changing the way they talk and act in different situations. This can cause problems and misunderstandings.
  • Impulsivity

    Knowing when to contribute to a conversation can be challenging for some people. Some individuals with LD are unusually impulsive in conversation and may tend to interrupt or blurt out an idea that might better be left unsaid. If you have LD, you may feel a need to immediately say what is on your mind from fear of losing your train of thought. And talking too much or at the wrong times can put a strain on relationships at school and at work.