But what if I say the wrong thing…
To make and nurture relationships, we must be able to show our peers empathy, but for those with neurodivergent traits, this can be difficult. Although most neurodivergent people have empathy, knowing when and how to express it to other people can be harder for them to understand than their neurotypical peers. Their inability to read facial and body language as well as other social cues that could help in this process makes it difficult for them to know when to express empathy to others. This can then make it hard for them to maintain friendships since a lot of the time, friends go to friends for help. They go to one another to talk about their problems and find support, but if children, teens, and young adults don’t have the proper skill set to show empathy in social situations, their friends may not want to go to them for support. Not being able to be the friend someone confides in can make friendships seem less personal, but this can then also make it, so others do not want to be sympathetic or understanding towards you in return.
Showing empathy in social situations is what shows our friends and peers we care about them. Showing that you understand and feel what they are going through makes relationships more personal and supportive, so without this skill, keeping friendships and relationships can be difficult. However, this is a skill that can be learned at The Support for Students Growth Center.
At SSGC, we provide the social, behavioral, educational, emotional, and executive functioning skills children, teens, young adults, and their families need for a happy and successful life in and out of school settings. Our team of professionals offers individualized and family coaching/counseling and social skills groups to help teach skills such as how to express empathy in social situations to ensure parents do not have to worry that their kids will be unable to make and maintain a functioning independent life on their own. So, if your child is struggling with skills like the ones listed above and much more, the SSGC is equipped with the tools to help.
Dr. Eric J. Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D.C., is a Developmental and Behavioral Specialist who specializes in Autism, ADHD and related disorders. Dr. Nach is the founder of the Support for Students Growth Center and College Life Skills Program where he and his team of professional’s help develop the Emotional Maturity, Executive Functioning, Life Skill and Social Abilities of children, teens, young adults and college students and those high school students preparing for college.