Current ABSI Social Groups:
- Giggle Group (Toddler – Preschool)
- Let’s L.A.F.F.™ (Elementary School, Middle School, High School)
- Adult Group
ABSI groups focus on social-emotional and behavioral growth. At the core of our groups is the concept of building and maintaining friendships. This concept is comprised of what appropriate social behavior is as it relates to an ever changing environment, peer play, social language, social reciprocity, social relatedness, perspective taking, problem solving, emotions, flexibility, and much more!
Our social groups are designed for individuals of all ages. The groups are established based on age, needs, and developmental levels.
The foundation of our social groups relies on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to help improve social behaviors in children with an autism spectrum disorder or other disorders. Our social groups were founded for children who demonstrate social deficits are not able to readily read the cues of others or navigate their environment.
As a result, many individuals who suffer from these deficits experience stress, negative responses from others, and at times failure when attempting to interact with others socially. We often times will hear people comment that the children may want to be alone or that they do not want friends. It is our experience as professionals in the field of applied behavior analysis that this is simply not true. It is our contention that if those affected by social deficits knew how to make and keep friends then they would. However, it is their inability to successfully interact with others that prevents them from accessing the positive reinforcement that comes from an effective social interaction with another person. In addition, because social behaviors are quite complex and changing based on age, context, and/or group, this makes them even more unpredictable and difficult to master, generalize, and maintain. Ultimately learning social behaviors is a process that takes time and patience.
We structure our groups so that each participant is accessing the full potential social interaction among their peers. Each group are designed to have their own lessons, topics and structure based on the development level, age and needs.
Our groups are organized in a way that involves social facilitation and support as it is required by the participants in the group. The groups incorporate a theme each month that focuses on a very specific social behavior. The groups start off with free play/catching up with friends, a structured lesson plan on the social behavior of interest (this includes introduction of the social behavior/ review of the social behavior, brief discussion, in vivo modeling or video modeling, role play, and in-vivo practice), group activity/game, and closing. Individualized goals as well as group goals are addressed each session.
Our topics change monthly to fit the needs of our groups. However, we are always focusing on social-emotional and behavioral growth. Here are a few topics we often review in our groups:
In our giggle group we focus on learning to learn skills. We practice calendar time, imitation skills, sharing, playing, attending to task, fine motor and physical motor skills.
Let’s L.A.F.F.™ was developed by Rosa Patterson to assist children on the autism spectrum.
We continue to focus on play skills, making and maintaining friends, understanding our emotions, conversation skills, hygiene, social media, transitioning into middle school age and teenage years.
In our Adult group we focus on independent life skills (hygiene, making simple meals, budgeting, making appointments, etc.), making and maintaining friendships, how to plan for continuing education and/or employment.