1. Realize children with poor social skills probably aren’t picking up social cues, so don’t expect them to be able to without skill practice. Demonstrate what to look for in the other person’s behavior to see what effect your behavior is having, e.g., “See how Johnny is frowning? He’s not happy with what’s happening. Did you say or do something that might get that kind of reaction?”
2. Pair children with poor social skills with a socially skilled peer to help them observe social skills and feel accepted by a socially-adept peer.
3. Read or tell an incomplete story that involves social judgments and have children complete the story and discuss the consequences.
4. Give children 3-6 pictures of people and have them tell a story, describing how each person in the situation feels. Suggest other possibilities if the child doesn’t, e.g., “Do you think this boy feels anger or happiness?”
5. If a child is shy, co-play with them, asking for help and suggestions from the child to get them to lead.
6. Use conflict to promote social thinking. Ask two warring children, “Let’s cool down and discuss this.” “What’s the trouble?” “What did each of you say and do?” “What’s another solution?”
7. Look for signs of stress build up. Ask children to, “take a deep breath, close your eyes, and take yourself in your mind to a safe and happy place.” Provide encouragement that the children can do the work or if they can’t, reduce the workload until the child is back in control.
8. Ask the child what their social goals are and what would make them feel good if they reached their goal. Implement a reasonable reward program.
9. Talk one-on-one with children who act inappropriately in class and tell them, “Let’s set up a private sign between us that I can give you when you start to _________ or _______in class.
10. Provide small group social skills training once the children have beginning social skills.
11. Assign special class responsibilities to children who don’t have many social skills so they appear in a positive light to their peers.
12. Teach listening, accepting feedback, praising, and giving feedback communication skills in class. When someone interrupts, can’t accept a compliment, doesn’t know how to give a complement or listen, use that scenario to ask for another way to handle this situation and ask children to role play different possibilities. Trying out social skills is the best way to learn them.