By: By Susan M. Abrams, M.A., CCC-SLP and Sarah C. Wayland, Ph.D.
Learning to play with others is both enormously complicated and enormously important. It involves recognizing that you can get clues from other kids about how they are feeling just by listening to how they talk, or by looking at their face and how they hold their bodies. We all understand the importance of taking turns when talking or doing something together. But what about things like knowing to look where your friend is looking? Or realizing what it means when she moves her hand a particular way? And that doesn’t even include understanding what your friends are saying and how to respond appropriately.
As kids get older, they learn that other kids may not have the same perspective, and they learn to clarify when others are confused. They recognize that others can suffer and offer sympathy, and they also learn to effectively describe their own feelings and experiences.