Social Thinking® groups bring together students of similar ages and abilities for weekly therapy sessions. Students learn ways to more easily “fit in” and establish and maintain friendships. Based on the work of world-renowned expert Michelle Garcia Winner, we teach social thinking skills ranging from perspective taking, which is understanding that others have “thoughts” separate from our own, to interpreting and responding to the nuances of verbal and non-verbal communication. Learn more about Social Thinking® at Michelle Garcia Winner's website. Signs of Social Learning Challenges
Has trouble making friends, keeps to him/herself
Can not see the “big picture”
Has trouble figuring out others’ intentions
Can not “read” body language, facial expressions, context, etc.
Is struggling with reading comprehension
Has trouble managing his/her time
Poor planning and organizing skills
Is having difficulty working in a group
Does not understand “figurative language”
Difficulty initiating conversations and social interactions
Does not show empathy
Has trouble holding a job
Is being repeatedly bullied
Is refusing to participate in school activities
Who can benefit from participating in the social thinking groups? Groups are geared for students with average to above average IQ who have social cognitive deficits as a result of High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Non-verbal Learning Disorder (NLD), or those with no specific diagnosis. We work with students starting in kindergarten and, as students progress in school, they gradually move on to more complex social thinking topics depending on their maturity and interest level. How the groups work New groups are formed at the beginning of the school year. These groups continue through the following summer, however new students may enroll for the summer beginning in June. Each group includes two to four students and meets for an hour, once a week, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. Each treatment session includes:
Gathering – Three to five minutes of open talk time.
Group Lesson – Social cognitive strategies and social thinking lessons.
Practice/Unstructured Time – This could include an “open topic” discussion among group members. During this time, the therapist provides feedback to reinforce the lesson.
Self Regulation Groups
Children work together to learn the following self-regulation skills: Understanding their own unique sensory system, matching their arousal levels to a particular activity, tools to assist with self-regulation in a classroom, tools to assist with emotional self-regulation when interacting with others and independence in identifying their individualized sensory needs. Based off of the curriculum Zones of Regulation ®
Social dyads are offered to children who have received an Occupational Therapy evaluation/assessment and whose Occupational Therapy goals entail social skill development and/or self-regulation goals. This dyad provides children with an opportunity to participate in therapy sessions with a peer working on similar goals.