How are social skills groups conducted?
Social skills groups typically include 2-8 autistic children and are usually led by a therapist who is trained and familiar with the condition. The group participates in a variety of activities from role playing to games that are designed to help them develop some of the social skills they might otherwise miss due to their condition. Observation is one of the key principles behind the social skills group. Many neurotypical children learn about the world around them and pick up certain habits and behaviors simply by observing adults and other children interacting. Children then mimic these behaviors and apply them in their own situations. For children with autism, attention can be difficult so they may not learn some of these skills simply by observation. But in a social skills group, a child with autism has the chance to observe and interact with other children in a context that is guided towards developing these specific skills. While participation in a social skills group takes time and effort, learning these important skills in a structured context can have incredible long-term benefits.
Learn more about social skills groups from program facilitator, Stepping Stones.