Living with Autism

Social Skills Training

In order to be successful and function to their full capacity
at home, in the community, at school and in relationships, individuals with ASD need to learn social skills in a structured and nurturing environment.

autism social skills trainingAt Education Spectrum, we view social skills as the skills beyond cognitive potential that a child needs to lead a productive and independent life.

The Social Skills Training Program is designed to facilitate social development in the core areas of:

  • Joint attention and social referencing
  • Understanding how others think and feel
  • Being able to communicate with others effectively
  • Knowing which behaviors are expected and acceptable in different situations
  • Developing and maintaining friendships
  • Expanding behavioral repertoire

Our Social Skills Training Program is designed for individuals who have some level of awareness of others in their environment and can function in at least a parallel fashion with a peer. Curriculum is drawn from both published and evidence-based practices and specifically designed by the Education Spectrum staff. The groups consists primarily of individuals with Asperger’s Disorder, high functioning autism and related disorders. The goal for every child is to help them reach their full social potential and develop the tools necessary to establish relationships, communicate more effectively with their family, peers and society as a whole thereby enriching their lives and preparing them for adulthood.

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Social skills groups typically meet once a week.

While goals are tailored to meet each child’s individual needs, the list below highlights some of the skills we address:

  • autism social skills trainingUnderstanding eye gaze
  • Understanding facial expressions/emotions
  • Developing social thinking (theory of mind)
  • Entry and exit (greeting) skills
  • Conversational skills
  • Expected group behaviors
  • Play skills
  • Flexibility in problem solving
  • Expanding play and interaction skills (reducing perseverative thoughts/behaviors)
  • Friendship skills
  • Dealing with frustration and anger
  • Social inferencing and negotiation
  • Assertiveness training
  • Manners and etiquette
  • Dating skills
  • Independent skills for the transition into adulthood
  • College accommodations assessment
  • IQ and academic assessment designed for those applying to college who will require services for special needs
    • Assessment consists of administration of standardized test, written report of scores with student and parents review and a recommendation for accommodations

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Bridges to the Future

Groups are designed to provide training and skill acquisition in 7 essential areas, which allow participants to gain independence and success in life beyond high school, such as college, obtaining and maintaining gainful employment and relationship development.

The program consists of distinct, time-limited modules, each addressing one of the 7 essential social areas.

7-module curriculum:

  • Basic Social Skills – Expected & unexpected behaviors
  • Theory of Mind – Thinking about you thinking about me
  • Friendship Skills – How to find and keep friends
  • Executive Functioning Skills – “The Mind that’s Mine”
  • The Digital Age – To text/post, or not to text/post
  • Dating/Relationship – I like you, now what?
  • College/Job/Life Prep – Putting it all together

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