Social Skills Groups
Social skills groups focus on the development of several important skills including adhering to routines within a group-setting, listening and following multi-step instructions, using effective communication, initiating interactions with peers and adults, improving self-regulation and management of disruptive behaviors, increasing use of nonverbal and verbal social-communication abilities, as well as taking turns, sharing, and waiting when needed.
Additional social skills groups focus on more complex social, emotional, and behavioral issues associated with home, school, and within peer groups. Subjects relating to interpersonal exchanges, including developing friendships and bullying, as well as more personal matters such as puberty and hygiene, are also discussed. Additionally, strategies are taught to help develop important coping skills and deal with significant life transitions.
Instructional courses highlight common obstacles faced when living with a child with special needs. Courses include the following:
“Understanding Autism”-focuses on explaining the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and provides strategies to enhance communication, implement behavior management, and learn ways to adapt the home setting and identify tools necessary to meet a child’s specific needs.
“Changing Life Through Behavior”-provides families with support in learning ways to recognize the function of a child’s behavior, understand how the environment contributes to the expression of behaviors, and acquire interventions needed to change a negative behavior and replace it with positive and socially acceptable conduct.
Bright Beginners School Readiness Group
A skill-based and social development group geared towards supporting young children in gaining the knowledge, skills, and interest in learning that are necessary for success in preschool. School readiness goals for Bright Beginners are adapted from the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, Preschool and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.
School observations can not only promote greater understanding of a child’s daily school experiences, but they foster a collaboration between intervention services and school regarding treatment recommendations and classroom modifications, encourage communication and rapport between the therapist and teachers, allow for the therapist to advocate for a client and support their personal needs whenever appropriate, as well as give an opportunity to complete a functional behavioral assessment.
Clinicians lead multiple workshops for families, teachers, and other providers that directly impact the daily care and well-being of children with developmental disorders, including creating materials involving Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS®) and structuring and adapting play-based resources for skill-building.