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Play and Social Skills

Play skills and social skills are closely tied to learning and school readiness. Play and social skills also require attention and concentration, language, memory, problem solving, organization, and planning and sequencing. Without these skills, play is limited and repetitive, and social interactions can be awkward and immature. Difficulties with play and socialization can also contribute to learning difficulties.

Occupational and Speech Therapists are skilled in supporting children to develop play and social interaction skills including turn taking, anticipation, and non-verbal communication

Children who struggle with play and social skills can have difficulties with:

  • Attention and concentration

  • Staying engaged in one activity or with one person

  • Expressing and/or adjusting their emotions to match the activity or environment

  • Understanding consequences

  • Working or playing independently

  • Playing with a range of toys or activities

  • Following the lead of others in play

  • Playing with toys as they are intended

  • Taking turns and sharing

  • Engaging in a two way conversation, speaking "at you" rather than "with you"

  • Reading verbal and non-verbal cues

  • Maintaining a topic of conversation

  • Making and keeping friendships

  • Reacting appropriately to winning or losing in a game

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