Helping Children and Young Adults Build Social Skills

Early Language Group

The Metro West Early Language Group (ELG) is a social communication group that provides the opportunity for young children to build their language skills and begin to understand social communication. Small groups of 4-6 children, ages 3-5, will qualify for the ELG. A variety of skills will be addressed during group time:

  • Play
  • Reading Aloud
  • Group Activities
  • Social mini-lesson

Language develops at a unique pace for all children. The ELG seeks to help young children build their language, whether they are non-verbal, just beginning to use language, or are advanced verbal children. Small group sessions will address:

  • Vocabulary building
  • Using language and increasing length of utterances
  • Participating in conversations with peers
  • Identifying and expressing emotions appropriately
  • Problem-solving skills

Speech Language Pathologists will work on these skills and others that have been identified through individualized goals. Activities and lessons will be appropriate to the age of the children in the group. These will be used to help students build language skills.

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Club CLUE

Communicating Listening Understanding Empathy

Club CLUE (Communicating Listening Understanding Empathy) is a social communication/problem-solving group that helps students decode the often-confusing world of verbal and nonverbal signals. Small group sessions, led by trained staff on autism will address:

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  • Using appropriate strategies for making and keeping friends
  • Interpreting and using body language cues for social interaction
  • Initiating and participating in conversations appropriately
  • Identifying and expressing emotions appropriately
  • Matching communication and behavior to various group situations
  • Applying social communication and problem-solving skills in interactive role-playing situations
  • Managing meltdowns
  • Expected/unexpected behaviors in various settings

Leaders will work on these skills using interventions appropriate to the age of the students in each group. Students ages 5 and up will be assigned by age and/or skill level to small groups. Enrollment will not exceed six students. All groups will be held after school hours.

Children who are eligible for this group should be:

  • Motivated to improve their social skills with others
  • Able to attend weekly one-hour sessions
  • Able to demonstrate functional language skills with peers

Children who can benefit from the group approach may have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Social Pragmatic Disorder, or Nonverbal Learning Disorder.

Teen Talk

Teen TALK (Talent Advocacy Learning Knowledge) provides many of the same lessons in skill development found in Club CLUE, but at a more sophisticated level.  While middle school and high school students don’t necessarily need to learn “play skills” they do need support in being part of a group and navigating the perplexing drama known as dating.  Parents are encouraged to let staff know about topics they feel would be helpful for their child or particular difficulties encountered at school, social activities or in the community.  We are happy to address parent submitted topics in a future lesson. Teen TALK also provides students with social time outside the office. 

 

Some of the topics addressed during Teen TALK groups are:

  • Problem solving/negotiating
  • Perspective taking
  • Navigating the boring moments
  • Using body language/facial expression to understand communication
  • Self-monitoring
  • Expected/unexpected behavior in various settings
  • Making an impression
  • Manners at home and away from home
  • Managing milestones and celebrations: Funerals, weddings, graduation, holidays
  • Navigating the internet
  • Clothes: Casual, semi-formal, formal
  • Hygiene
  • Independence and taking care of yourself

 

Teen TALK also provides students with social time outside the office.  One Saturday a month kids are invited to participate in a social outing of their choosing.  Activities may include:  a movie, bowling, mini golf, or skating.  This is an exciting time for the students and we encourage them to participate as often as they would like.

Instructors use many supplemental materials for group activities along with video feedback, board games.  In addition, the following resources are used for group instruction:

  • How Rude; The Teenager’s Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior and Not Grossing People Out, Alex J. Packer, Ph.D.
  • How Does Your Engine Run?, Sherry Shellenberger and Mary Sue Williams.
  • Everyday Speech
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Young Adult

Young Adult Group (YAG) -- Ages 18-25

A social group for those who struggle with interpersonal relationships due to autism spectrum disorders, behaviors, impulsivity, or shyness.

Some of the topics addressed during the Young Adult groups are:

  • Problem solving/negotiating
  • Perspective taking
  • Using body language/facial expression to understand communication
  • Self-monitoring
  • Expected/unexpected behavior in various settings
  • Making an impression
  • Managing emotions
  • Manners at home and away from home
  • Navigating the internet
  • Clothes: Casual, semi-formal, formal
  • Hygiene
  • Independence and taking care of yourself
  • Job interviews and job expectations
  • Building independence and life skills

*YAG is dedicated to developing friendships and examining the areas of time management, organization and problem solving, for increased success at home, college, and work.
Please call (515) 987-8835 for more information or to sign up for our group.

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