Through a variety of activities, games and role-play, children learn and practice appropriate social behaviors within a small, structured, and supportive group setting. Skills are practiced weekly and incorporate the incremental, targeted approach that has been so successful in our peer modeling program. As with peer modeling, data is collected for each child throughout every session so that progress can be measured from week to week. The primary focus of our social skills programs is to help your child master each skill so that he can generalize them to his family, friends, classmates, and community. All of our groups help children improve eye contact, attending skills, manners, social etiquette, self-esteem, game-play skills, social language, and interpersonal relationships.
Which social skills group is best for my child?
We offer social skills groups for children ages 3-19. Groups are formed when there are three to six children of similar age, level of development, and cognitive ability who are interested in participating. We don't form groups with more than six children, as we feel that larger groups can be too distracting and can detract from the individual growth process of each child.
During the application process your child will be screened and assessed to determine which group is best for their specific needs. Some children may benefit from individual therapy or peer modeling to build group readiness skills before engaging in a group setting.
How long will my child need to attend?
Unlike other social skills models with curriculums of fixed durations, our social skills groups are ongoing and run continuously all year long with rolling admission and graduation. Our goal is the same for every child – success! Mastery and generalization of skills varies from child to child, as everyone learns at their own unique pace. Children will practice and rehearse new pro-social behaviors until they can transfer these acquired skills from our group to their natural social environment.
The group facilitator communicates frequently with parents to monitor success and determine when the child is ready to graduate. Though you may withdraw your child at any time, we recommend at least a twelve week commitment. Repetition is the cornerstone of any learning process, and is particularly important in cultivating a strong foundation of social and behavioral skills.
What groups do you offer?
Below are our current group offerings, though additional groups may be formed to address the combination of social skills that are particularly beneficial to your child. If you have a specific need for your child that you don’t see below, please contact us to determine how we can best assist you.
Lego & Games Clubs Social Skills Group
Teen Social Skills Group
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"Building Blocks" Preschool Group
Early opportunities to develop basic social and communication skills can set the stage for a healthier adjustment to school and more successful relationships. Our preschool group is for children ages 3-5 who can benefit from being “coached” while playing and interacting with their peers. The curriculum includes lessons that build confidence while developing social pragmatic, cooperative play, and friendship skills. The children will engage in a structured circle time, age-appropriate tabletop activities, gross motor and floor time play, and pretend play. Our groups are designed so that children will have fun while learning!
Specific areas targeted through play include:
using language to greet others - making requests - conversing
utilizing eye contact when speaking - maintaining personal space
identifying verbal and nonverbal signals - turn-taking
playing cooperatively - adhering to group and game rules
employing appropriate body/impulse control - following directions
manners - problem solving - detecting emotions
Let’s Have a Playdate!
This group is ideal for children aged 5 to 8 who have begun to participate in playdates with friends. This group will target the skills required to be a proper host, as well as an appropriate guest when visiting a friend. This group particularly focuses on the skills involved in greeting others (both friends and adults), proper manners, sharing and turn-taking, making requests, making eye contact, exhibiting flexibility in game play, being both a good winner and loser, and cleaning up. Through role-playing, structured activities, game play, and video modeling, children will learn how to properly conduct themselves when having a playdate.
In our social detective group, children will learn how to navigate their social environment through games, role-play, and group activities. Emotions, empathy, nonverbal communication, and perspective taking are the key areas addressed in this group. The skills taught are as follows:
Emotions – learning to identify and manage one's own emotions, identifying emotions by facial expression and tone of voice, understanding what causes each emotion, learning how to employ empathy in response to the emotions of others.
Nonverbal Communication – learning to read body language, identifying the meaning of gestures and postures, reading social cues, and providing appropriate responses.
Perspective Taking – identifying the character traits of oneself and others, identifying unique perspectives and situations, predicting what others may say or do in a given situation, evaluating one's own social behavior and adapting it to one's social environment.
Having a conversation is a complex activity. Some of the elements of a conversation include using proper eye contact, attending and maintaining a proper proximity to the speaker, listening and paying attention, verbal or nonverbal acknowledgement of statements, and staying on topic. The Conversation club group will address all of these elements of conversation, in addition to general social skills.
Through role-playing, structured activities, game play, and video modeling, children will practice and master all of the essential skills required for a successful conversation. Particular focus will be placed on initiating, maintaining and ending a conversation, staying on topic, taking turns talking, changing conversation topic, joining a conversation, talking briefly (without talking too long), using proper tone and volume of voice, and respecting personal space.
Let’s Play a Game!
This gameplay-focused group will target the skills required to play board games, card games and gross motor games with a peer or group. We teach and practice a variety of skills including turn-taking, following game rules, sharing materials, compromising with a peer, proper behavior for winning and losing, and social language during game play. In addition, children will learn to ask a friend to play, join a group game, and play in a group.
Working Together and Getting Along
Children need to know how to work with a partner as well as effectively participate as a member of a team. Whether playing sports, working on a science project, or taking part in a classroom 'center' activity, specific skills are required to be an effective member of a group. The goal of this social skills group is to gain practical experience while working on a team project. We will begin by teaching children how to work with a partner before expanding their skills to team participation.
The components of a successful team player include requesting and fulfilling a specific role, making a plan, negotiating, persuading, managing frustration, maintaining a proper tone and volume of voice, resolving conflicts, making suggestions, tolerating the suggestions of others, and developing solutions to common problems. In addition, the prompting and teaching of appropriate social language is continuously maintained throughout all cooperative activities. Since working on a group activity is an advanced social skill, each child will be evaluated for prerequisite skills prior to participation.
Have questions? Want to sign up for a social skills group? Call, email, or fill out the contact form in the Contact Us section. Also see our FAQ's section for additional information about our programs.