April is Autism Awareness Month and we are celebrating by sharing information about some of our related services, like social skills groups.
Michelle Pentz MS CCC-SLP, speech therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, found an article in the American Speech Language Hearing Association Leader called “Building A Science Of Friendship” by Belinda Williams that supports the social skills group that she offers here at Child and Family Development with occupational therapist, Courtney Stanley, MS, OTR/L. Sometimes, these groups include kids with autism and other developmental disorders.
The article emphasizes measuring the changes you see in group participants and ensuring carryover of social skills outside of the session. Pediatric therapists should provide regular feedback to parents and caregivers so kids can practice their developing skills between sessions.
In our Social Butterflies‚Ñ¢ social skills camps, Michelle and Courtney provide a list of what skills will be addressed during each session. Outside of the session, the family is encouraged to initiate conversations for more practice in a familiar setting with familiar people. Along the way, both therapists and the family can share the accomplishments and challenges. Many times, this leads to even more customized camps. Families tell us that when they incorporate this practice, big changes occur that transfer from the session, to home, other structured activities, then play dates and beyond.