Social Skills and Academic Achievement

Research has consistently demonstrated that many children with LD may also have related social skill deficits. Kavale and Forness (1995), for instance, found that 75% of students with LD also show some difficulties in social skills that interfere with their ability to learn. The good news is that, for many of these children, social skills can be taught. Evidence-based methods for building social skills have been developed by teachers, psychologists, and researchers. One challenge, though, is getting this knowledge into the hands of people who can use it to help children with learning disabilities. This issue of NASET’s LD series is from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities and is written by Kathlyn M. Steedly, Ph.D., Amanda Schwartz, Ph.D., Michael Levin, M.A., & Stephen D. Luke, Ed.D. Using a summary of their article, it will first clarify what we mean when we talk about social skills and explore their impact on behavior and academics. Then we’ll take a look at what the research has to say about social skills interventions and programs for children with disabilities. It will wrap up with examples of interventions that can be applied in both classroom and home settings.

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