High-Quality, Compassionate, & Individualized Care

How Social Skills Groups Can Help Children With Autism

Children Social Skills Group walking and holding hands
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Children with autism, or those who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), can benefit from social skills groups. Children with autism often have the desire to interact with others, but may not know how to engage with friends or may become overwhelmed by the idea of a new experience. These social skill groups can help children with autism learn the social skills that they need in order to effectively communicate with others. These skills can help children with autism successfully communicate their needs and wants to other people, understand social cues, and learn how to play with others.

What Are Social Skills?

Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures and body language.

In general, children tend to learn social skills by practicing interactions and mimicking role models. Over time they build a social “map” of how to communicate and act in situations and with others. For people with autism, it can be harder to learn and build up these skills, forcing them to guess how to interact which can lead to uncomfortable and stressful situations.

Social skills development for children with autism involves instructional interactions, timing and attention, and sensory distractions and integration. Instructional interactions include games with rules of interaction and practice situations like asking for help and passing on instructions. Timing and attention focus on active listening and call-and-response conversations. Sensory overload and distraction is common in children with ASD. It is important to practice communication and social interaction while slowly working in sensory inputs such as being outdoors and playing with animals while following directions at our Ridgeview Farm Site.

What are Social Skills Groups?

Social skills groups are daily/weekly events that offer an opportunity for children with ASD of all ages to practice their social skills with each other, peers, and staff. Our social skills groups will follow an abbreviated curriculum that is used for full-time students of our center. This is an environment for practice and improvement rather than other direct one-on-one sessions such as home-based or individual therapy. Social skills groups supplement the work your support team works on every day at home and at school.

Who Can Teach Social Skills?

Children learn from every interaction including at home, at school, at the grocery store, at church, and from other children. Some of the challenges brought forward by ASD may limit that learning because of overstimulation or lack of guidance through a situation. Our social skills groups overcome many of those challenges and create an environment of learning where your child will feel comfortable making mistakes and trying again. They will see and feel a group of specialists as well as peers providing support through their learning experience. It is important to remember that providing a specialist-lead practice environment gives your child the opportunity to practice everyday interactions where they can steadily improve and receive constructive feedback. Our team is made up of:

  • Behavioral therapists
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Licensed Behavior Analysts
  • Registered Behavior Technicians
  • We also collaborate with community providers such as Occupational Therapists and Speech & Language Therapists

At what ages are social skills groups effective?

Our office has successfully introduced participants as young as 4 and as old as 12 years old. We believe that social skills groups have the potential to be an effective practice with all learners regardless of age. That is why we at Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting believe in early diagnoses and intervention of children who show signs of ASD. 

Our mission is to provide high-quality, compassionate, and individualized care to the individuals and families we serve within a nurturing and collaborative environment. Social skills groups are another piece to the plethora of resources we provide to our patients in Shelton and throughout Connecticut.

We Believe That Early Diagnosis & Intervention Is Key.