When you have a child with special needs teaching social etiquette can be quite the struggle. Gess has actually done really well picking up on how to act in certain settings and certain places. I think she does a fine job in that regard. We have also been careful to teach her the safety issues of being cautious around strangers, where not to let anyone touch her, and so on and so forth. What we are missing is the in-between: How to make your own decisions (while being respectful) when someone wants you to do something else.
It's become an issue recently as Gess has become more independent. There are times when she will be playing with kids who seem to want to control everything about her. If Gess says no to something they try to compel her to change her mind and usually Gess gives in. (This even got her in trouble one time as she was compelled to do something she was told not to do.) Now I am not saying that these children are taking advantage of Gess because she has Down syndrome. There are just some kids that are that way with everyone they play with. However, most children know how to stand their ground and not give in. Gess hasn't gotten to that point yet, so lately we have been discussing authority with her.
Authority is a term that Gess is very familiar with because when she would try to tell us no or give us orders daddy was quick to remind her that she had no authority over us, but we had authority over her. So using that familiar phrase I try to remind Gess that children have no authority over her, however she also has to realize she has no authority over them either. It's difficult to explain to a child who has special needs how to use proper social skills while making decisions regarding her own personal wishes and desires.
For now we are going to attempt some role playing and quizzing with various scenarios. I would love to hear of any ideas that you have used to help your child. I know there have to be games and activities about it I just have not searched them out yet. And that is now my goal. I can promise you this, if we find something that works well, I will be sure to share it with you all.