Many children with autism struggle with social interactions, ranging from communication to eye contact to take the perspectives of others. While not every child with autism will experience the same challenges in social situations, most children with autism benefit from additional support with social skills. Through the use of evidence-based practices, Zelexa provides social groups with similar-aged peers to build the foundation for essential skills, such as conversational skills, turn-taking, and listener responding skills.
Building up social skills with practice can help enhance participation in the community and support outcomes like happiness and friendships. Social skills groups offer an opportunity for people with autism of all ages to practice their social skills with each other and/or typical peers on a regular basis.
Effective Social Skills groups should*:
- Provide structure and predictability
- Break down abstract social concepts into concrete actions
- Simplify language and group children by language level
- Work in pairs or groups with cooperation and partnership encouraged
- Provide multiple and varied learning opportunities
- Foster self-awareness and self-esteem
- Provide opportunities for practice so that skills are used beyond the group in real life settings
*Excerpted from Social Skills Interventions: Getting to the Core of Autism developed for the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) by Teresa j. Fodden and Connie Anderson, Ph.D.
Children might benefit from one-on-one therapy emphasizing social skills, while others benefit from a group setting with many opportunities for peer interactions. Some children may have a combination of both direct and group therapy to improve social skills. The team at Chicago ABA Therapy will develop an individualized plan for every child to facilitate great gains and progress.