One of the issues I sometimes see when working with clients, and saw when teaching kindergarten, is nonverbal and social skill weaknesses.
Social skills are largely based upon nonverbal understanding and hidden societal rules.
These skills and concepts may be difficult for children who have varying exceptionalities or who are English language learners. Social and nonverbal communication skills can help you make friends or cause you to be alienated from potential friends.
That’s why it’s extremely important for kids to have practice with social skills and learn how to understand nonverbal communication cues in their culture as well as when getting to know people from cultures outside of the child’s culture.
I recently happened upon a fantastic set of books which I find really help with nonverbal communication and social awareness. The “Smart Kid’s Guide To” series contains explicit instruction, examples, scripts for practice, and has photographs to assist in understanding.
I highly encourage tutors, teachers, and parents to use these books in conjunction with everyday situations to help children understand how society expects them to behave and how to read situations, then respond in a socially appropriate way.
Using one example script per day can open up a dialog for how to respond to others as well as how responses may vary, yet still be socially acceptable. This is also a great way to foster emotional learning and empathy.