Social Communication Groups
What are Social Communication Groups?
Our Social Communication Groups are for children struggling with social interactions including playing with others, making friends, and using socially appropriate behavior. Social Communication Groups are lead by a clinician who has skill and experience in teaching and shaping socially appropriate behavior. These groups, created for children with a wide range of skills, have a low staff to child ratio which ensures that everyone receives appropriate support.
Preschool (ages 3-5)
Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
3rd Grade-5th Grade
6th Grade-8th Grade
Curriculum and Activities
The curriculum for these groups incorporates aspects of aspects of various programs with other relevant social language activities and discussions. The clinician leading the group changes and adapts lesson plans based on the needs of the children in the group on a session by session basis. The following games and activities may be used in a social group. Games and activities are chosen based on client needs and interests:
- Board games
- Art and craft activities
- Baking/Snack activities
- Birthday/Holiday parties
- Movie clips
- Show and Tell
- Motor activities
- Outdoor activities, such as walks, scavenger hunts, collection of natural materials
- Role playing/Play acting
- Puppet shows
- Poster making
- Video making
Group Size and Parent Participation
The size of our Social Communication Groups is between 2 and 5 children. Parents are encouraged to participate in our groups, especially for our preschool groups. Parents may be used as models or communication partners.
Sample Session Schedule for a Preschool and Early Elementary Group
4:00-4:15 pm Greeting and Theme: During this portion of group, clients practice greeting skills, including using appropriate personal space, eye contact, volume, pausing, and language use. The theme or goal for the group is introduced, for example, “Today- we are practicing whole body listening. What parts of our body do we use for whole body listening…” Visuals, music, pictures, videos, and books are all tools used to support the group in attending and targeting the theme of the session.
4:15-4:30 pm Teaching Activity: The goal is targeted explicitly in the group. This may include teaching specific vocabulary, phrases, identifying picture or video examples, role-playing, songs, etc that explicitly teach the intended goal for the session.
4:30-4:40 pm Play Activity: A play activity is introduced with less structured teaching moments for the goal, but provides more natural moments to implement the skill being taught. For example the group may target whole body listening during a game of pretend play when they are interacting with one another, when participating in an art activity, or when creating an obstacle course in the gym. Therapist targets the natural teaching moments for the goal as they arise during the play activity.
4:40-4:50 pm Debrief: The theme is reviewed and learning moments from the session are reviewed via pictures or videos of the session. Home Program is assigned.
Sample Session Schedule for a Late Elementary or Middle School Group
4:00-4:15 pm Check-In: During this portion of group, clients practice greeting skills, question- asking, listening, recall and retell, as well as commenting skills with their peers.
4:15-4:20 pm Plan: The plan outlined in the previous group session is reviewed. Duties or roles of each group member are defined. For example, in the previous session, the group may have decided to make smoothies in the next session. Recipes are chosen and gathering of supplies and ingredients are assigned. In the following week, the group reviews the plan and prepares for the activity. During this time communication skills such as explaining a play or activity plan to peers is practiced as well as negotiating skills, listening, asking questions, and making suggestions.
4:20-4:40 pm Activity: The therapists steps back and allows the clients to execute their activity or play plan. As natural conflicts arise, clients are first given the opportunity to use past skills taught to negotiate and repair communication breakdowns. The clinician may step in to support clients in getting un-stuck from a non-communicative interaction.
4:40-4:50 pm Debrief and Plan: Thoughts and opinions on the activity are shared among the clients. Again, skills such as listening, turn-taking, asking questions and making comments are skills that can be targeted during this time. The group also sets aside a few minutes to brainstorm on what they’d like to do for the following session.
How to Sign Up
Because the needs of each child vary so dramatically, we work with you to figure out which group will be best for your child. Call one of our offices and we will be happy to help your family find the right Social Communication Group for your child.