Does your child struggle to make friends and interact effectively with their peers? Do they have a hard time understanding social cues or reading body language? If so, joining one of our social skills groups is a great way of helping them develop their interpersonal and communication skills, together with their confidence and self-awareness.
How does it work?
In groups of 2-4 children or young people of a similar age, we run one-hour weekly social skills sessions, lasting between 8 and 12 weeks, depending on the children’s needs. They are ideal for children and teens who find it hard to make friends, and already have a diagnosis for ADHD, autism, and/or a language disorder. These sessions can be in person or as a virtual online group on Zoom, through Telehealth.
What will my child learn?
Every child within the group will have their own individualized goals to achieve within the group setting. For example, an autistic group member might need support learning how to initiate a conversation, while a child with ADHD could need practice listening to others without impulsively interrupting or talking over people. The group will be encouraged to consider other people’s perspectives and develop their ability to make friends. Individual, age-appropriate goals are set and we are flexible around adapting goals, based on progress seen weekly. Younger children might need to focus on how to handle losing a game, whereas teenagers could need help understanding social norms, such as understanding why people tell white lies. Much of the learning is achieved through roleplay and games to make it fun and engaging. Many of our group members benefit from learning fundamental life skills, such as how to look interested and adopt approachable body language when communicating with others.
What are the benefits to attending a social group program?
There are many benefits to your child learning socially in a small group with others, with the most significant being opportunities to:
· Enhance social skills
· Increase confidence
· Develop the ability to initiate a conversation
· Learn life skills needed for their future
· Feel understood, heard and included
· Adopt suitable body language and facial expressions, appropriate to the situation
· Build skills useful in their everyday lives that will enhance their relationships
· Form real friendships that often last beyond the program
An added bonus for parents and caregivers is that these social groups unite families going through similar experiences. The parents of the children in a group often bond and become friends and a valued support network to one another. Once the program ends, some parents like to stay in contact with others in the group to continue to meet up, so their children can play together and keep practicing what they learnt during the program.
If you think joining a social group would benefit your child, or you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, please call 503-266-1030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.