Social skills are the rules, customs, and abilities that guide our interactions with other people and the world around us. A neurotypical person typically learns these skills as they grow and interact with others. Someone with autism, however, may have a more difficult time developing these skills, and may require more explicit instruction, which is something that we are trained to do here at Ready Set Connect.
The Theory Behind Our Social Skills Program
One of the unique aspects of our ABA therapy here at Ready Set Connect is that we are center-based. This means that children come to our center for their therapy, and are thus able to play with other children in a controlled open play floor environment. This gives them an opportunity to play and interact with their peers, supporting social skills development. Additionally, we have a specific program that is geared towards this area.
ABA is typically a one-on-one experience between the child and their therapist, during which many social skills can be taught, but a child must interact with others in order to generalize the new skill. In addition, social skills for child-adult relationships look different from social skills for child-child relationships. That’s where our Social Skills program comes in handy. We provide a structured setting for the children to build those imperative child-child, or peer, social skills.
The Social Skills we build include:
- Learning how to take turns
- Introduce themselves to others
- Starting friendships
- Flexible thinking (working out peer-to-peer conflicts so everyone is happy)
- Handling expected and unexpected situations with appropriate responses
- Introductory social media and internet safe practices
A child can achieve mastery of a skill in an isolated one-on-one child-adult therapist setting and still struggle to generalize the skill to real world application with their peers (e.g. initiating sharing of a toy, or responding to a question). Additionally, it’s important for children to learn how to handle the unpredictability of their peers.
Even the most skilled clinician would agree, there are simply some skills that cannot be properly taught in an isolated one-on-one therapist setting. Ready Set Connect’s Social Skills Program is designed to help children with autism navigate a variety of social situations, giving them the tools to interact appropriately with their peers.
What Does The Program Look Like In Practice?
During a Social Skills afternoon, children will play board games together, take the Nintendo Wii for a spin, go outside for some playground time, and much more. All of these fun adventures happen as a group: the children transition as a group, play as a group, and even work together as a group to earn special prizes.
The Social Skills Group enables the children to work on their skills with their peers, gaining firsthand experience in a variety of social situations, with proper guidance from our trained therapists.
To learn more about our Social Skills Group, contact us here.