What Are Social Skills?

Social skills, or pragmatics, are the verbal and non-verbal skills we use to communicate and interact with each other. We communicate using gestures, body language and our personal appearance. Children communicate feelings, messages, and thoughts to others in different ways. Caregivers begin providing foundation skills for a child’s social development during infancy by being responsive and interactive. As a child grows, it is important to provide opportunities to play with others so your child can explore his or her own abilities and express feelings on his or her own. Caregivers can model the type of behavior that is appropriate in various social situations.



Birth - 3 Months

Looks at his own hands, sucks on fingers, learns to be comforted and soothed by adults, responds to touch, enjoys social stimulation and smiling at people

3 - 6 Months

Smiles, laughs, plays peek-a-boo, and look when his name is said

6 - 9 Months

Expresses a number of emotions (happy, sad, fear, discomfort), show frustration when a toy is taken away, begins to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar people

9 - 12 Months

Imitates simple actions, expresses anxiety when separated from caregivers; self-regulates, manipulates and explores objects

1 - 2 Years

Engages and initiates in play related to their own body (sleeping, eating, etc.), recognizes herself in mirrors, plays independently, starts trying to help, expresses negative emotions, becomes more self-assertive

2 - 3 Years

Demonstrates a personal preference about toys, foods, activities, starts saying “no”, uses objects symbolically (pretend to drink from an empty cup, feed baby, etc.)

3 - 4 Years

Follows directions, shares toys, begins engaging in pretend play

4 - 5 Years

Enjoys imaginative play, becomes more aware of feelings, develop friendships, understands positive vs. negative behaviors

If you have concerns about your child’s Social Skills, contact us today!


Tri-County Therapy contact information for children with speech delays in Anderson and Charleston, SC.