Eye Contact Activities to Improve Social Skills

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Making eye contact is an important part of social language. Many students with disabilities may need explicit practice and instruction to acquire this skill. Let's take a look at some of the ways teachers can help their students practice making eye contact.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication that carries a lot of meaning. When we make eye contact while speaking, we show our interest and engagement in the conversation. It lets the other person know that they have our full attention. Making eye contact results in many positive outcomes.

  • It helps build relationships by showing interest in what another person has to say.
  • It allows people to pick up nonverbal communication from others. For example ,when someone rolls their eyes, or begins looking around, they are communicating frustration or boredom.
  • It can help get and maintain another person's attention.

Strategies for Teaching Eye Contact

Most people learn appropriate social skills, like making eye contact, by watching good role models. However, students with disabilities often need explicit practice and instruction to acquire these skills. Unlike their typical peers, students with disabilities do not always pick up on socially appropriate behaviors. For this reason, they may also have a more difficult time fitting in and making friends. Teachers can help their students learn the importance of making eye contact through a variety of techniques.

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