Social Emotional Learning: Building Blocks of Success



Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is helping students gain skills to manage their emotions, communicate, and resolve conflicts. SEL benefits all children at any age, including infants and toddlers; however, students struggling with behavioral and/or mental health issues can especially benefit from social emotional skills learned in school and reinforced at home.

Social Emotional Competencies*

  • Relationship Skills
    Communicating, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social
    pressure, negotiating conflict, and seeking and offering help when needed.
  • Self-Management
    Regulating emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
  • Responsible Decision-Making
    The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interaction.
  • Self-Awareness
    The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior.
  • Social-Awareness
    The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior.
*Source: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Social Emotional Skills and Your Child’s IEP

Learning how to recognize and practice healthy interactions with others, manage emotions, be part of a team, make good decisions/recover from mistakes and show respect for other people—these skills are just as important for success in the world as any academic achievement. In planning ahead for your son or daughter’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), ask yourself:
  • What success would look like at the end of the school year?
  • Which social emotional skills will help your child reach her/his goals along the way?
Consider building those skills into the IEP and brainstorm with the IEP team how to best achieve those goals and the kinds of supports needed.


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