While parties, family gatherings, break time and playdates are associated with fun for most children, for some these events provoke anxiety. Some children would prefer to play on their own, or get lost in a book while the fun goes on outside without them. While some children are simply more introverted than others and are not bothered by feelings of being "left out" other children may withdraw after having been rejected by their peers despite their efforts at joining in the fun.
These children want to interact with other children, but when they do it does not go well. They may struggle to make conversation, seem out of sync or behave in a way that turns other children off. Repeated rejection in social situations is bound to result in anxiety and a child may possibly withdraw as a protective mechanism against rejection.
What does trouble with social skills look like? Awkward interactions may be the result of a child missing social cues such as body language. They may continue talking despite the other person looking away and appearing bored because they can't interpret facial expression or body language. Other children may have difficulty waiting their turn, interrupting others mid-sentence and annoying them. Having these challenges doesn’t just impact kids’ social lives. It can also make it hard to connect with teachers, family members, and people in the community. What can cause trouble with social skills? A number of things can affect how kids interact with others. Some common ones include:
Trouble with self-control
Mental health issues like anxiety and depression
Stressful situations at home
Difficulty staying focused during the conversation
fidgeting and hyperactivity distracting others in the group
Nonverbal learning difficulties - trouble understanding body language, tone of voice, facial expressions or abstract concepts
What we would see on QEEG: Expressive language difficulties would show up as dysregulated activity in the left frontal cortex while difficulty in the interpretation of social cues would be highlighted in the left temporal and parietal regions.
What can help kids with social skills
If your child has trouble connecting with other kids or adults, there are lots of ways you can help. A good place to start is by taking notes on what you’re seeing at home. You may start to pick up on patterns that help you figure out why your child is struggling.
Neurofeedback to regulate these areas of the brain can help open doors into a fulfilling social world, warding off damage to their self-esteem in the long run!