For most of us, our ability to think socially develops naturally and feels intuitive. In fact, social thinking dominates our thought processes throughout the day. Thinking socially occurs when we send an email, read a work of fiction, wait in line at Starbucks, or move our grocery cart aside to accommodate another customer.
Quite naturally, we consider the context, surroundings, emotions, and intentions of others to determine our behavior and emotional responses. It is an incredibly complex process which most of us take for granted.
For kids with learning and attention issues, social thinking is far from natural. They might find it challenging to notice, understand, and act on emotions in an effective way. Underdeveloped social thinking skills can exacerbate challenges children are already facing. Think about your child’s daily life. She might study hard, but still get a poor grade. She might feel embarrassed about her learning issues and be afraid to ask for help.
Self-advocacy, flexible thinking, and healthy communication skills are rooted in social thinking. Teaching children about the presence of other people’s minds and social thoughts is important, especially for our kids with learning and attention challenges.
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