This month’s blog article was written by Speech Pathologist Alexandra Crea.
Transitioning from primary school to high school can be an exciting time for children, where they are getting used to a having their own locker, a new timetable, and a bigger campus to navigate. They also have the opportunity to make new friends, and form new friendship groups. However, for children with anxiety, pragmatic language difficulties, or social skills difficulties, transitioning into high school can be a daunting experience full of new and scary social situations.
Alongside the increase in difficulty of academic material in secondary school, the social demands placed on a young 12 or 13 year old student grow substantially. Being assertive,but not aggressive, sharing your opinion, but being aware of others’ wants and ideas, helping a friend, but not being taken advantage of, are all things that can be extremely difficult to understand for a child with pragmatic difficulties. In high school, students have reduced support in navigating social interactions, interpreting nonverbal communication, and putting together clues to understand social context. Children without pragmatic difficulties are able to use and understand subtle forms of communication, which are more difficult to identify and interpret. To support our children with pragmatic and social skill difficulties, and to maximise their enjoyment of high school, here are a few key skills that can support their socialisation;
If any of the above skills are difficult for your child, seeking Speech Pathology intervention is a great way to support them in this transition. A Speech Pathologist would be able to assess your child’s strengths and limitations, and deliver 1-on-1 or group therapy to address their needs. One such group therapy program offered at Melbourne Child Development is the Secret Agent Society (SAS), which we have been running for many years. The SAS program is an evidence-based, espionage-themed therapy intervention for children aged 8-12 with social and emotional challenges. Through SAS, children learn about emotions and friendships. It may be the perfect program to support your child’s regulation and socialisation as they enter high school territory.
If your child has any social skills difficulties and you would like to know more about how a Speech Pathologist can help, please contact the practice on 9890 1062 to arrange a free 15 minute telephone conversation with a Speech Pathologist.