Social skills training for children with developmental disabilities like Autism

Verbal Behavior Institute social skills trainingFor families coping with children with social skills development disabilities like Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, ADD, ODD, OCD, and other developmental disabilities:

When many of us are hiding are facial expressions, feelings and body language behind technology, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate these social situations, for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities this task is near impossible.

Research suggests that each social situation varies so much from the next that it is very difficult to effectively teach these skills and have them generalize to different environments and with different people.

During a time when technology is becoming an essential part of our everyday life, our children are losing basic social skills like eye contact, telephone skills, conversation, and empathy for others. Today it is not unusual for an adult to be told through email that they are fired or for young people to end a relationship through a text.

That is why the therapists at Verbal Behavior Institute are choosing to go back to basics. We are designing social groups based on life skills. At school, our children are learning to read, write and complete math problems. At home, they need to learn life skills and daily living skills that will lead to increased independence and social opportunities in their future.

Increased independence provides an increase of social opportunities. Take folding the laundry or setting the table for dinner. Many of us will talk on the phone or chat with our children or even text a friend while demonstrating these skills. However, you have to first know how to talk on the phone, text, fold laundry, or set the table.

At VBI your children and adolescents will learn life skills that are concrete and can be broken down in small steps. Data can be collected and progress can be monitored through this process. These skills will then serve as the foundation for social skills development. Children will develop eye contact, turn taking, and conversation skills while completing simple chores or tasks in the community.

Once the tasks are mastered, students will interact with typical peers to serve as a generalization probe.

All children/adolescents will be evaluated in the following areas: basic living skills, community and home skills using the Assessment of Functional Living Skills by Dr. Jim Partington and Michael Mueller. Once the assessment is complete, the therapist will sit with the parents and develop an individualized social plan (ISP) for your child. A weekly progress report will be sent home with your child to show progress within each program. Life skills will be taught in their natural environment to promote generalization (home/community settings).

Some activities will take place in a home (VBI location) or in the community. Groups will be developed based on age, assessment results and language ability. Groups will consist of 2-6 members to ensure individualized teaching.

Complete the form on this page to get more information on our Spring Social Skills Training Program.

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Vivian Attanasio, Clinical Director, BCBA
Vivian Attanasio
Clinical Director, BCBA