A Social Group is therapy conducted in a group setting with peers matched by age and developmental level, focusing on building social skills and interaction. Our highly trained Registered Behavior Technicians, under the guidance of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, lead groups of 3-8 clients, targeting things like playing/interacting together, following group directions, building and maintaining relationships, conversation skills or any number of goals our individual clients have. We have groups for our youngest learners (4-8 years old), our preteens (9-13 years old), and our teens (13-18 years old). Groups can be further subdivided based on skill, developmental level and interests. Funders range from private pay, to insurance, county funds, to the Autism Scholarship. We design our groups around our clients, so each client changes the flavor and dynamic of their group!
What does an ATBS Social Group look like?
Our vibrant and robust social groups are filled with laughter and giggles, friendships, cooking, board gaming, video gaming, obstacle courses and problem solving. During a social group, clients come together and practice social skills in a warm, relaxed environment. Our staff guide our clients through evidence based strategies designed to help clients reach their goals. Our clients tackle projects together such as a canned food drive during the holiday season, playing games with nursing home residents, creating pancake art, playing Dungeons and Dragons, having tournaments, and completing a fun recipe together. Activities like these give our clients the framework they need to develop lifelong social skills. Social groups are usually 2 hours in length. Depending on the need, clients can attend from 1-3 times each week.
Littles Group is learning to follow group leader, receptive identification of adjectives like fast or slow, accepting wait, and labeling their environment.
What makes Social Groups at ATBS unique?
Girls Group reflected on Autism Acceptance and wrote down what they believed to be true about the autistic experience. This display been on our door ever since.
At ATBS our social groups are driven by our clients. Their interests, goals, and the way they want to interact with the world drives the structure of each group. Our emphasis is on helping each of our clients find their voice. We teach through play, unique activities based on client interests and goals, structured and unstructured activities and choice to increase motivation to participate. We nurture each client’s unique ways of expressing themselves, connecting with others and experiencing the world around them.
We start by meeting with you and your child to discuss areas of concern, we work together to find the right group for your child. Goals are designed specifically for your child and activities are then created around those goals to ensure your child is motivated to attend, learn and grow.
Who can benefit from Social Groups?
Children or teens who need support in social situations
Clients who need help recognizing nuanced social cues
Anyone who feels socially awkward or struggles making or maintaining friendships
Children or teens who need help advocating for themselves in social situations
Clients who need help communicating their wants/needs, holding conversations or negotiating/collaborating
Clients who are learning play skills
Clients who are need support learning how to handle conflict
Clients learning to use and apply perspective taking
In groups of 2, Teen Social Group raced to complete their robot with random materials!
Social Group FAQ
My child is not Autistic, can they still attend?
Yes! Our groups can be a fun and engaging space to learn for all ages and walks of life!
My child needs 1 on 1 support, can they still attend social groups?
Yes! If your child still needs the support of a dedicated technician, that does not mean that they are excluded from the group! For any child who needs it, we can provide 1 on 1 support during a social group. Clients are able to move in and out of the group schedule organically, taking time to target individual goals, as well as social skills.
When are your social groups?
We have several social groups that meet at different times and days of the week.
Monday and Wednesday is our Little’s group
Tuesday and Thursday is our Pre-Teen group
Tuesday and Friday are our teen groups.
What age ranges are your social groups?
We have social groups for just about any age! We have a Little’s group for 4-9 year olds, a PreTeen Group for 9-12 year olds, and a Teen group for 13+.
How do you determine group placement for clients?
We conduct an assessment prior to starting services. Clients will be placed in the group that aligns closest with their age and developmental level, as well as goals and interests.