Importance of Social Interactions The opportunity for social interactions with others is very important for the development of all children. Through social interactions, children begin to establish a sense of “self” and to learn what others expect of them. Although social interactions for very young children primarily occur within the family, as children grow and develop, they become more and more interested in playing and interacting with other children. When playing with others, children learn appropriate social behaviors, such as sharing, cooperating, and respecting the property of others. In addition, while interacting with their peers, young children learn communication, cognitive, and motor skills. Most opportunities for social interactions among young children occur during play. This opportunity to play with others is critical if a child is to develop appropriate social skills. Therefore, encouraging children with disabilities and nondisabled children to play together is an extremely important part of instruction in integrated preschools. The children must have the opportunity to play together if they are to become friends. These friendships will help the nondisabled child form positive, accepting attitudes toward persons who are disabled. In addition, the child who is disabled will have the opportunity to learn age-appropriate social skills. Children who learn appropriate social skills often have a higher self-esteem and show a greater willingness to interact with their environment as they grow. Opportunities for social interaction not only enhance development in the early years, but also may be important for the future of the young child who is disabled. The ability to interact competently with is a skill that is required throughout life and may affect future educational and vocational opportunities. Assisting young children who are disabled to learn through positive social interaction with nondisabled children may help them acquire skills from which they will benefit throughout their life.