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Behavior & Social Skills

Social competence and emotional well-being are issues for some adults and children with learning disabilities. Being liked, feeling accepted, and having self-confidence are all related to an individual’s social skills. Included in this section are the “dos and don'ts” for fostering social competence, the teacher’s role in developing social skills, and many helpful articles on behavior modification, anger management, disciplining students with disabilities, and the emotional issues experienced by some individuals with LD.

There are 77 articles in this section.

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Meeting the Challenge of Conformity

Many people with attention deficit disorder find that conforming to standard behavior in the workplace can be challenging. This article tells the story of Jane. Her story illustrates why conformity can be difficult, ways to identify problem areas, and how to navigate around them.

Practicing Social Skills: How to Teach Your Student Social Interactions

Learn ways to teach social skills so that your students can remember them when they need to use them — both in and out of your classroom. This article includes the latest multimedia resources.

Bullying Among Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Needs

Research indicates that children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders are more likely to be bullied. This article defines bullying and tells you how to help. Read about resources from The Stop Bullying Now! Campaign.

Helping the Socially Isolated Child Make Friends

Children who are socially rejected by their peers often are preoccupied with their isolation and can't concentrate on their schoolwork. Here are some ways teachers improve kids "social stock" and help them build friendships.

When the Child with Special Needs Goes Off to Summer Camp

Are your children in summer camp? Are you wondering how to support them while they are away? Rick Lavoie gives advice on how you can help children with learning disabilities have a great time this summer — and enjoy yourself more. For example, did you know it is better to send lots of short letters than a few long ones?

From the Mouths of Babes: What Kids Tell Us About Friendships

Rick Lavoie brings teachers information on how to integrate children with special needs into their mainstream class. The Council on Exceptional Children asked students with good social skills for their suggestions to school staff. Here are some of their requests: a) time to "hang out" with peers with disabilities, b) taking a stand against bullying and teasing of students with disabilities, and c) choosing peers to work with students with disabilities carefully.

Improving Your Child's Behavior in Public Settings

Help your child behave properly in public settings. Meet the five basic physical needs that keep them calm. Community excursions, such as trips to the mall and your house of worship, are challenging for children with learning disabilities. Learn the steps that will help your child improve their behavior.

Executive Function Fact Sheet

Children use executive function to plan, organize, strategize, pay attention, manage details, and schedule themselves. Read this fact sheet from the National Center for Children with Learning Disabilities for helpful strategies.

Social Skill Autopsies: A Strategy to Promote and Develop Social Competencies

Rick Lavoie teaches the social skill autopsy- a strategy to help your child or student learn from their social errors. Turn those embarrassing incidents into teachable moments- and help the person with a learning disability to correct their mistakes and not repeat them. If you are a person with a learning disability, consider sending this article to a trusted mentor or friend.

Advice to Kids with Learning or Social Problems About Siblings

Does your child with social skills difficulties have trouble with their brothers and sisters? Read them this advice which is written just for them! And then read the section for you, the parent. Richard Lavoie gives powerful advice on how all people in the family can get along.

Understanding Sensory Integration

Sensory integration is a theory that explains why children respond in a certain way to touch, sounds, and other senses. Some children have sensory integration dysfunction, which influences their behavior. Learn about this disorder and how to treat it.

Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia

Dyslexia is not an emotional disorder, but the frustrating nature of this learning disability can lead to feelings of anxiety, anger, low self–esteem and depression. Read scenarios in the dyslexic child's life that can give rise to social and emotional difficulties. Discover how to help children deal successfully with these challenges.

ADHD: Same Label, Different Settings

My overall approach in solving behavioral problems is crystallized in the title of a small book I wrote for School-Age Notes in 1995, Discipline in School-Age Care: Control the Climate, Not the Children. In it, I asked providers to think about an essential question: Do the behavior problems we see "live" within certain children and will they inevitably act out these unacceptable behaviors once they enter our space? Or do they "come alive" in our environments?

Strategies for Teaching Youth with ADD and ADHD

Strategies that promote success for students with ADD and ADHD are described including behavior management, modification, preparing your students to learn at the beginning of the lesson, keeping the students on task, making the lessons more interesting and homework.

Teaching Social Skills to Kids Who Don't Yet Have Them

Teachers: Do your students have trouble getting along with others — and getting along with you? Do you tell them to stop doing it — but they keep on doing it? Learn to understand and teach your students with social skills problems. Learn why they have these problems and how to teach them better behavior. Read about Social Skills training and the steps to follow in implementing it.

Motivation: The Key to Academic Success

Motivation is key to school success. Just as the actor asks a director, "What is my motivation, for this scene?," the child turns to teachers, parents, and peers to discover the "why" of learning. Motivation is often defined as a need or drive that energizes behavior toward a goal.

Ten Ways We Distort Our Thoughts

Who is Testing Whom?

A Ray of Hope in the Juvenile Justice System

Special needs adolescents face particular challenges from a behavioral point of view. This article describes how a local family court in New York examines more than just the crime for juvenile offenders, with special focus on proper educational placement.

Mealtimes

Family mealtimes are a great way to reinforce communication skills and promote early literacy and good behavior with your child. Read on to learn how to with some simple activities designed to encourage language, problem solving, good habits.

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