One of the major components of primary school is a sense of belonging and being part of a group. To interact successfully with other children and teaching staff requires certain social skills to be developed, practiced and refined over time. Depending on the degree of your child’s Intellectual Disability(ID) they may have minimal issues with interaction or quite significant challenges in this area.
Further learning disabilities such Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) may be part of your child’s diagnosis. If this is the case, then your child may experience a further level of difficulty in the development of skills required to interact with others due to implications of these diagnosis.
Communication skills and appropriate behaviour are the keys to successful interactions. Assisting your child to develop their oral or other communication systems will be essential, as will the development of appropriate behaviours .
For success in the primary school years, exposure to as many activities where your child will have the chance to interact with other children will be of great benefit. For example you may wish to consider:
- Sports or athletics clubs- joining a club will allow your child to interact with other children of the same age and develop motor skills at the same time. It will also give your child a sense of belonging to the community and an opportunity to develop a variety of skills.
- Social- girls and boys groups such as cubs, scouts and guides enable children to develop a variety of skills while undertaking them in a supportive and encouraging environment. Outdoor activities and camps can be a part of these groups, allowing your child to have more opportunities to interact with others.
- Modelling behaviours- exposure to a variety of community settings and family functions will expose your child to the behaviours of others from which they can model their behaviour.