Which Students Need Social Learning Groups?

Diane Levinthal www.SocialStrides.com Unless a child is diagnosed with a learning disability that is known to affect social interaction, issues can take parents by surprise. All of a sudden, we notice that the same children who played alongside peers in daycare are now alone at recess during the early elementary school years. They want friends and try to interact with peers but without success. At this age children engage in cooperative play and interactions are based on peer choice, not just who happens to be in the class or in a playgroup mom selects. Now they must be able to read the subtleties of verbal and nonverbal language and tell the difference between literal and non-literal language across people (authority figures, peers, family, acquaintances, friends) and settings (school, community, home). We take this ability for granted, but it is an awesome leap in development. We expect them to absorb the…