Reading Comprehension & Social Thinking

Reading Comprehension & Social Thinking

Are you aware of the connection between reading comprehension and social thinking?

Children who have problems with reading comprehension usually have problems using social judgment on the playground. And children who have problems with social thinking usually struggle to make inferences and draw conclusions as they read.

Both social thinking and reading comprehension require a high level of perspective taking. In both cases, students must get inside other people’s heads (including characters in books) and imagine what they are thinking.

In social settings, children must read facial expressions and body language and determine which groups they should attempt to enter and which ones to avoid.

Children must be able to anticipate how problems will occur in order to take steps to avoid them. They must be able to compromise and negotiate in order to make and keep friends.

To comprehend what they read, children must imagine what their characters are thinking.

Children must take their characters’ perspectives and make inferences about character’s thoughts and motivations. They must predict how their characters will respond to certain situations and then draw conclusions about their responses and predict what will happen next.  This requires taking the perspective of others and imagining what they are thinking.

Parents can reduce the risk of reading comprehension and social thinking problems by getting their children enrolled in appropriate intervention……the earlier the better.

Remember that prevention is a lot more effective and less expensive than remediation. To prevent comprehension and social interaction struggles, children must be seen by speech-language pathologists who understand the language skills needed to succeed socially and academically. Once these struggles surface, parents must seek professionals who can identify the cause of these comprehension and social thinking problems and then treat them from the ground up.

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