Socialization is essential for us all, but for children and adults with special needs, social skills don’t always come easy. If you are a parent or caregiver of a child or an adult with special needs, then you are probably all too familiar with the social limitations that can come with the territory. Although socialization can be difficult, it is essential for all of us. Here are a couple of tips from Arc of Burlington to help you enhance your loved one’s social skills:
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Tips for Enhancing Social Skills in People with Special Needs
#1. Practice with facial expressions flashcards.
Put together or purchase flashcards with different facial expressions, like these. Practicing with these kinds of flashcards will help your loved one feel more comfortable in social situations and be able to recognize emotions more easily in others.
#2. Teach them to ask questions.
Questions are important for many reasons. Not only does asking questions help you find the answers you need, they also help us get to know each other and are great tools for starting conversations. One effective way to help your loved one learn to ask questions is to pretend like you are interviewing them and vice versa. Not only will this activity help your loved one to learn how to ask questions, but it will also coach them in what to ask in social situations.
At Arc of Burlington, we offer a variety of disability services that can help both children and adults with disabilities socialize, including special needs camps, day care, adult day care and so much more. We also put on regular events and activities. Click here to check out our upcoming events, and stay tuned for our next blog for more tips for improving social skills.
at the intersections to remind workers there are oncoming forklifts and other small vehicles scurrying about and to be alert. Each hallway, too, is filled with massive numbers of stored crates and boxes filling every nook and cranny with IKEA merchandise piled seven, sometimes eight levels high. It’s enough to make a person feel pretty tiny when you look up toward the ceiling!
Our crew works at separating an assortment of un-recycled materials — huge thick plastic bags and strange looking support devices — from bins replenished several times a day from one or another of the many forklifts cruising around. The separated materials are then loaded onto empty tractor trailer trucks and ultimately sent to IKEA’s recycling facility to be transformed into new packing materials or innovative, heavy-duty all-cardboard storage pallets IKEA plans to use to replace their current wooden pallets. They’re still shooting for 2020 to become completely landfill free, and we’re betting they accomplish the goal even earlier.
Recently, warehouse supervisors have begun adding new components to the job and training our crew to add them to their skills. In the lunchroom area, they’ve even installed an Arc of Burlington County cabinet to accommodate our lunches. Walls painted with welcome notes greet visitors, and the occasional Swedish signs on the wall (with translations) add to the fun feel of the place. Even the signs on the bathrooms are designed for a laugh!
Our crew enjoy working at IKEA and put in a good day’s work. We think the management are happy with us as well, and with all the innovations they’re teaching our crew, sounds as if they plan on our staying around a long time. Good deal!
Thanks Tony, Mike and everyone from IKEA for this great experience and especially for being so supportive.