The Importance of Social Skills in Childhood Development

As children develop and mature, social skills emerge, silently laying the foundation, for future relationships, emotional health, and general well-being. While academic prowess is often more celebrated, forming connections, navigating social situations, and understanding interpersonal dynamics is equally important. Early friendships, instructor relationships, and participation in group activities are all aspects of a child’s life where these skills develop. As they mature, these skills become the foundation for both personal and professional relationships.

Social Skill Programs

For children who face social hurdles, programs like West Coast Centre for Learning’s Secret Agent Society (SAS) and PEERS for Adolescents and Young Adults, have proven highly effective. The SAS program, originating from the University of Queensland, utilizes captivating spy-themed gamified activities to engage children. The program also aids those diagnosed with autism, ADHD, anxiety disorders, as well as those who struggle with emotional regulation & response. Through computer games and clinician-led club sessions, children (8-12 years) find themselves immersed in an engaging environment that empowers. Another evidence-based program for teens and young adults is the PEERS program, a brainchild of Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson from UCLA. This program can be a resource for individuals facing challenges such as ASD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression. One of PEERS’ core missions is to aid in recognizing the importance of creating and sustaining relationships for emotional well-being. The program integrates interactive learning methods, including an app that provides insights, video demonstrations, and practical assignments. 

As we acknowledge the importance of social skills in a child’s life, it is crucial to provide a collective effort. From parents, educators, and specialized programs to ensure children are well-prepared to navigate their future relationships and interactions. West Coast Centre for Learning is leading this effort, offering the Secret Agent Society Program. Exclusive to West Coast Centre for Learning in British Columbia, and the transformative PEERS for Teens program. By providing these programs, they build a bridge to a future where every child and teen can navigate the complex world of human connections with confidence, skill, and a sense of belonging. 

- Advertisement -

For information on how to become involved in your child’s social skills success, or to discover more about these programs, please visit

Vancouver Island's Parenting Resource