Many teenagers are insecure and uncomfortable in social settings. In modern times, many more teens struggle with social skills because of the fantasy world of social media and the ability to hide behind the screens, instead of braving the transparency of reality. Many teens struggle with expression and the ability to use words to give meaning to how they are feeling. Lack of social skills and the inability to adapt to social settings often affects a teenager’s ability to make and keep friendships, and foster other long term healthy relationships.

Social Skills elaborated & symptoms

Teen social skills disorder is also known as Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD) , a condition that makes normal conversation and socializing for teens a huge struggle. NVLD does not necessarily appear in early childhood. One may become symptomatic in grade or middle school. The importance of social skills is undeniable for this is the cornerstone and foundation for all relationships, whether they are friendships, school/work relationships or romantic. Teens that lack social skills usually struggle to make normal conversation. This also affects their ability to listen. Often they laugh out of context, experience delayed reactions, are unable to read facial expressions and subtle social cues, and appear uncomfortable in their own skin in social settings, such as, biting their nails or fumbling with their hands and avoiding eye contact.

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One of the main causes of teen social skill disorder / NVLD is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD symptoms cause children to be unfocused and make it more difficult for them to control their impulsive behavior. ADHD symptoms include exasperated behavior, especially when one is required to wait or be patient. Sufferers from ADHD require immediate results. They interrupt others to blurt out answers in the middle, have trouble waiting for their own turn, and quickly give up their assigned tasks, even within group activities. All of these symptoms hinder the ability to foster healthy social skills.

Social skills therapy and other strategies

There are various types of therapy and other strategies used to enhance social skills. Some of these methods are:

Cognitive Behavioral interventions (CBI) techniques are used in schools to find out the root cause for a child’s failure to develop social skills. Once the root cause is discovered, a solution can be tailored to counter that underlying issue.

Social thinking teaches teens about the ripple effects of their behavior. This method helps one understand why certain behavior protocols are necessary particularly in public social settings and thus encourages different behavioral patterns and practice of more accepted social norms.

Positive Behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is a program applied in many schools for teaching the teens appropriate social skills and helping them develop these tools in a way that it is second nature for them.

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Beachside Treatment Center is a tranquil rehabilitation center, specializing in the treatment of drug addiction, behavioral disorders, and various other mental disorders, including teen social skills disorder / NVLD. Beachside Treatment Center treatment embodies mind-body health principles and includes various therapeutic programs and eclectic activities all individualized based on the unique physical, nutritional, emotional and psychological needs for each patient. With the well trained and dedicated team of professionals, you and your loved one will be supported throughout the healing journey.

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