Building Social Development

A video blog by Pinki Kumar on building Social Development and helping our kids to connect with other kids.

Author Pinki Kumar

Pinki is a special educator, play therapist and a mother of a neurodivergent kid. She has a YouTube channel Play and learn to teach different methods and strategies. These videos are a great resource for the parents to help their child learn various skills.


Socialisation you must know to teach your child

Well we all live in a social world as we are humans “the social animals” and we must socialise . But contrary to this we all suck at socialising too

An introvert would definitely get this

So what is socialisation – socialisation is every day skill that we use to interact and communicate with others around us

So a person is quite sociable if they are well aware of social implied rules and cues

Hence by far you must be convinced that “Social skills are vital in enabling an individual to have and maintain positive interactions with others”

Now children with neurodivergent concerns have difficulties with social skills.

What mistakes do we make when it comes to build social skills in our children.?

Well , I ll answer this for you

We forget the building blocks to develop social skills and directly jump to what skills my child should know

Lets dig deeper on these building blocks

These are :

  1. Attention and concentration: Sustained effort, doing activities without distraction and being able to hold that effort long enough to get the task done.
  2. Receptive (understanding) language: Comprehension of language.
  3. Expressive (using) language: The use of language through speech, sign or alternative forms of communication to communicate wants, needs, thoughts and ideas.
  4. Play skills: Voluntary engagement in self motivated activities that are normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment where the activities may be, but are not necessarily, goal oriented.
  5. Pre-language skills: The ways in which we communicate without using words and include things such as gestures, facial expressions, imitation, joint attention and eye-contact.
  6. Self regulation: The ability to obtain, maintain and change one’s emotion, behaviour, attention and activity level appropriate for a task or situation in a socially acceptable manner.
  7. Executive functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills.
  8. Planning and sequencing: The sequential multi-step task or activity performance to achieve a well-defined result.

What skills we need to work on ?

1.Effective communication

2. Self advocacy

3. Empathetic attitude

4. Perspective taking

5.Conflict resolution

6. Mindful body language and gestures


8.Verbal reasoning

9.Understanding figurative language

10. Negotiating and Decision making

11. Understanding positive judgement and negative judgment

12. Sharing and accepting feedback

Well todays world demands these skills , because we wish to create a kinder tide.

Next you might question , what can you do to incorporate these skills

  1. Play with your child to help develop joint attention, turn-taking, shared interests, cooperation and appropriate play with toys.
  2. Emotions: Help the child to understand and display their own emotions and to recognise these emotions in other people.
  3. Empathy: Help the child to understand and recognise how other people are feeling in particular situations.
  4. Social stories: These are stories which are used to teach children specific social skills that they may find difficult to understand or are confusing. The goal of the story is to increase the child’s understanding by describing in detail a specific situation and suggesting an appropriate social response.
  5. Social skill groups: These are groups run with the express purpose of mastering social interaction with others.

Now I’ ll highlight some activities to train your child to improve the social skills

  • Visuals: Make up a poster of rules to remember when starting a conversation (e.g. using a friendly voice, making eye contact, using appropriate greetings, such as ‘hello’).
  • Role play: Practise playground/party scenarios where the child does not know anybody. Model and create a list of different things you can say:
    • To join others who are playing (e.g. “Can I play too?”).
    • To introduce yourself (e.g. “Hi my name is ….”).
    • To politely negotiate with peers (e.g. “I don’t want that one. Can I have the blue car please?”).
  • Sing songs, such as ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ to help teach a child about different emotions.
  • Masks: Make masks together to help improve eye contact.
  • Turn taking: Play turn taking games (e.g. board games) to encourage a child to say whose turn it is in the game (e.g. “My turn”, “Your turn”).
  • Games: Play board games with the child. Make sure the child is not always the ‘winner’ so that they learn about ‘losing’ in a game and are able to cope better when this happens with their peers.
  • Bean bag conversation: Throw a bean bag around a circle and each child takes a turn to contribute to the conversation. Think of different ways to contribute to the conversation (e.g. ask a question, comment on what has been said, add something related to the topic).
  • Watch and comment: Role play different situations and comment about appropriate and inappropriate attempts of communication (e.g. standing too close or too far from another person, not using appropriate eye contact, interrupting a conversation).

As a parent and professional do monitor what social skill you role model in front of the child . Do you say hello ? Do you empathise with others? Do respectfully agree with others ? Do you love sharing others ideas in your work

Now read the title of this blog “Socialisation you must know to teach your child.” Thus you must socialise correctly to build appropriate socialisation ability in the child

Lastly I would scream and shout but respectfully “ only a kinder tribe can raise a kinder dynasty”

All the best

Thankyou for reading.

Creative Effort and Ambivert – Heena Sahi

Creative representation for this blog is beautifully done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Nikhil Thotam. All the above 3 artworks are done by Nikhil Thotam on- demand for this particular blog. Thank you so much Nikhil.