Studies in social skills area have established relations between social and academic performance, although the data regarding the nature and the functionality of this relationship remain somewhat controversial. The present study aimed to evaluate the empirical relationship between these two aspects through two pathways: a) promoting social skills and evaluating their effects on academic results; b) promoting academic results and evaluating their effects on social skills. An experimental group design was adopted (one control and two experimental groups) with students' academic and social skills evaluated before and after the intervention. Sixteen 7 to 13 years-old students, with reading and writing learning disabilities participated. The Social Skills Training Program consisted of pedagogical play activities organized from a lower to a higher level of complexity goals. The academic intervention consisted of teaching 51 words of two and three simple syllables. The students' academic results were assessed by the evaluation of reading, naming and dictation skills. The social skills results were assessed by self-evaluation and peer and teacher evaluation. The results showed that the academic intervention group produced reading and writing skills improvement. On the other hand, the social-skills intervention group improved both social and academic skills. The results reinforce the idea of a functional relationship between social and academic abilities.
Learning disabilities; Reading-writing; Social skills