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Picking up on social cues

At a Glance: Trouble Picking Up on Social Cues in Grade School

By Erica Patino

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During the grade school years most kids become more socially aware. But if your child doesn’t pick up on body language and other social cues, he may have difficulty making and keeping friends. Learn more about how trouble with social cues can impact your child.

80Found this helpful
At a Glance: Trouble Picking Up on Social Cues in Grade School

As kids move through grade school, being with peers becomes increasingly important. But when they don’t pick up on social cues that come from body language and expressions, they may start to lose friends and be left out socially. Here’s what trouble with social cues can look like in grade school.

Misses Hand Gestures

At home: Your child interrupts when you’re on the phone, even though you’ve put your finger to your mouth to signal “shush.”
At school: Your child is confused by hand gestures teachers use to tell students to “sit” and “stand.”
The issue: Kids who have trouble with social cues don’t always understand what gestures like pointing or wagging fingers mean.

Doesn’t Get Sarcasm
At home: Your child doesn’t understand that when you say he’s a real “tough guy,” you don’t mean it literally.
At school: Your child doesn't understand when a classmate is joking or teasing.
The issue: Kids with social cues issues may not realize that how words are spoken can change their meaning. They may miss tones of voice or facial expressions that show the speaker isn’t being literal.

Doesn’t Know When to Stop Talking
At home: Your child keeps on talking, even when you turn around and walk away to do something else.
At school: Your child asks endless questions even when it’s clear the teacher wants to move on.
The issue: Kids who have trouble with social cues tend to keep talking even when it’s time to stop. They don’t notice the unspoken signals that people send when they’re tired of listening.

Doesn't Understand the Impact of His Words
At home: Your child says hurtful things to his siblings but doesn’t understand why they’re upset.
At school: Your child speaks inappropriately to the teacher but doesn’t know why he gets a negative response.
The issue: Kids with social cues issues may have trouble anticipating how others will react.
Graphic of At a glance: Trouble picking up on social cues in grade school
Graphic of At a glance: Trouble picking up on social cues in grade school

About the Author

Portrait of Erica Patino

Erica Patino

Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

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Reviewed by Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D. Apr 28, 2014 Apr 28, 2014

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