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Adult Down Syndrome Center


Importance of Social Skills for Optimizing Health

February 25, 2024 05:00 AM
Why does our Down syndrome clinic offer social skills groups?

Why does our Down syndrome clinic offer social skills groups? Physical, mental, and social health are strongly interconnected. Improving one area of health can improve the others. Similarly, challenges in one area can also cause or contribute to challenges in another area of health. Having positive social interactions can improve our self-esteem, prevent loneliness, encourage us to be more active, and more. Having a negative social interaction can have the opposite effects.

Learning and maintaining social competency is challenging for all of us. The “rules” of appropriate social interactions are often unwritten, can change based on the situation or setting, and usually require abstract thinking. This can be particularly difficult for some individuals with Down syndrome since many are concrete thinkers. Additionally, rules that were learned in school may not apply to the work or community setting and/or may need to be reviewed and reinforced.

When we don’t follow the rules appropriately, negative consequences can occur. These may include feeling embarrassed, getting into disagreements with friends, being reprimanded at work, or losing a job, just to name a few. These negative consequences can then affect our mental and physical health. Thus, we view being able to obtain and demonstrate social competency as a form of health promotion and illness prevention.

If you are interested in participating in our social skills groups, please sign up for our email list opens in new window to get updates about upcoming sessions.

To find videos, visuals, and articles that you can use at home, please see the Social Skills section of our Resource Library.


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