FACT Social Skills Groups
"Joining the F.A.C.T. Social skills group was a high point for our whole family during our long, difficult journey to a diagnosis. Staying in the group has been a highlight of each week since then.
Both of my boys, one typical, one on the spectrum, have made friendships I know will last a lifetime and so have my husband and I. I see growth in both our boys in how they deal with other kids and each other.
My husband and I have gotten invaluable advice and support from the other parents in the group. My only wish is that we could go to social skills every day."
Our groups are designed to meet the individual needs of their members. Prior to enrollment, families meet with a group intake coordinator who will use a combination of standardized measures (Social Responsiveness Scales-Revised, ABAS), direct observation, and parent report to determine specific goals for each child/young adult.
Each member's progress is periodically assessed and goals and curriculum are adjusted accordingly. Group's are open to siblings as well, providing the groups with neuro-typical peer models, while giving siblings the opportunity to interact with other children on the spectrum
Elementary Social Skills Group
Meets Mondays, from 4:45-5:45. Ages are divided into a kindergarten – 2nd grade group and a 3rd-5th grade group.
This group focuses on building fundamental social skills and is geared towards children on the autism spectrum, and children who struggle with skills related to communication, emotional regulation, and social interactions.
While group activities vary depending on the ages and makeup of the group, some core areas that are addressed include developing an interest in others, building friendships and relationships, developing flexibility within play, increasing engagement and expanding conversation skills, developing perspective taking abilities, learning how to be appropriately assertiveness and mastering appropriate conflict resolution skills. A blend of structured and unstructured activities allow for teachable moments to occur in a way that is both organic and meaningful. Group leaders will work on both scaffolding new skills and developing existing abilities, while enhancing the ability to generalize skills across different settings.
Middle School Group
Meets Mondays from 4:45-5:45, grades 6-8
This group focuses on strengthening fundamental social skills while learning how to generalize skills across various people and environments, and is geared towards individuals on the autism spectrum, and individuals who struggle with difficulties in the areas of communication, emotional regulation, and social interactions.
Through a mix of conversation, experience sharing, role play, and other activities, group facilitators address issues related to greater responsibility and independence, changing peer relationships and pressures, and developing social confidence, while continuing to expand skills related to perspective taking, appropriate assertiveness and conflict resolutions.
High School Group
Currently forming, meets Mondays, 6-7pm
This group will address the transition into young adulthood, and will focus on developing members' abilities to independently access, identify, and exhibit socially appropriate behaviors across contexts, as well as strengthening social awareness and the ability to interpret social cues.
Young Adult Group
Meets Mondays, 6-7pm, ages 18+
This group continues to focus on helping members learn to identify and exhibit socially appropriate behaviors in areas including (but not limited to) conflict resolution, self-advocacy and self-expression, peer relationships, dating, and internet behavior. We also work on learning pro-social coping skills to help members successfully deal with many of the inherent challenges that face this age-group. The curriculum is adapted each week based on the current needs and experiences of the members
Parent Education and Support Component
FACT belives in the importance and effectiveness of a "whole family" approach. Parent groups meet alongside our Social Skills groups and provide parents with ongoing support and strategies to assist their child in social situations, manage difficult behaviors, and navigate successfully though developmental stages. The parent curriculum includes articles, books, and videos on general parenting issues as well as those relevant to autism. Recognizing the stress on parents and families the parent curriculum, while being skill based, presents an evidence based mindfulness component.