Diversity Students

SOCIALLY SPEAKING

Helping teens & young adults become confident learners and communicators

​​

Social communication and pragmatic language refers to how we use our language to connect with other people. For many people, with social communication differences, such as autism or ADHD, this can feel like a struggle. They may feel misunderstood, left out and not anxious is social situations. 

It is important to know, however, that there is nothing ultimately wrong with any type of communication style. Many social skills groups are aimed at teaching students to to mask their natural communication style to match that of neurotypical people. This often leads to increased anxiety levels and is not in anyone's best interest.  In the past couple of years there has been a paradigm shift and we have learned about the double empathy problem, i.e., that social communication difficulties are due to a reciprocal lack of understanding.  We simply have a difficult time understanding each other.

Our groups are engaging and strive to empowering participants and provide them with opportunities to explore their own communication, learn about neurotypical communication styles and norms, help them learn how to establish positive peer relationships and how to advocate for themselves.  We trust our participants to know who they are and who they want to be, and will support them as they build skills that feel authentic to them.

We are trained in established and evidence-based programs, such as Social Thinking, UCLA’s PEERS® Social Skills Program and AUsome Training. However, our program is approached from the participants’ perspective with respect for their communication style.

 
Teens & Library

SOCIAL SKILLS & FRIENDSHIP SKILLS

Groups for Middle & High School Students

Who are the groups for?

Middle and High School Students who:

  • want to establish positive peer relationships but are not sure how

  • experience frequent and frustrating breakdowns in communication

  • have difficulties clarifying miscommunication or misunderstandings

  • struggle to join and maintain conversations with peers and adults

  • are motivated and interested in participating in this program 

How are the groups and sessions organized?

Our groups are formed based on the participants' personalities, skill levels and areas of need, to ensure that we have a cohesive group that will facilitate learning as well as build friendships. The curriculum for each group will be adjusted to suit the participants, with a specific skill targeted each week. Sessions include a combination of explicit instruction, role-play, real-life application, as well as “game and play time” to allow for some relaxed time to engage with the other group participants. 


Using newly acquired skills outside of the therapy room is the goal, so we put heavy emphasis on practicing, reinforcing and generalizing skills through a variety of supports. 


The groups are run by a speech and language therapist with a high staff to student ratio. Depending on the group, peer-mentors participate as well to engage in social interaction. The group size is 3-6 students to allow for friendships, as well as individualized attention. 


How do skills transfer outside of the sessions?

Our support outside of the sessions is what makes us truly unique.

  • Participants leave sessions with a specific skill to work on before the next session

  • Participants are supported with encouraging reminders and tips sent to them during the week and they can always contact us with questions at any time. 

  • Parent participation is required as part of each session to encourage carry over of skills in the home setting

  • All group participants are also offered individual sessions at a reduced rate to address or reinforce skills for which they may need additional support 

When are the groups offered?

  • The groups meet once a week for 90 minutes

  • The groups are run as 14-week programs, with a rolling start

How do we get started?

  • Set up a Free Phone Consultation, during which we will answer any questions you have and tell you more about our programs

  • In-person meeting. The next step is an in-person meeting. The meeting is informal; we will chat, play a game and get to know each other. The information we learn during this time will help us determine whether a group or an individual approach is appropriate.

  • A two-week trial is offered before committing to the full program, so try it risk free!

 
Group Picture

SOCIAL COMMUNICATION

Groups for High School Seniors & College Students

Who are the groups for?

High school senior who are getting ready to embark on their college journey, and college students who:

  • want to establish positive relationships in a new environment

  • struggle to join and maintain conversations with peers and adults

  • who want to build independence to thrive in a new environment

  • who struggle with understanding unwritten rules and expectations

  • who want to learn how to advocate for themselves

  • are motivated and interested in participating in this program 

How are the groups and sessions organized?
Our groups are formed based on the participants' personalities, skill levels and areas of need, to ensure that we have a cohesive group that will facilitate learning as well as build friendships. The curriculum for each group will be adjusted to suit the participants, with a specific skill targeted each week. Sessions include a combination of explicit instruction, role-play, real-life application, as well as “game and play time” to allow for some relaxed time to engage with the other group participants. 


Using newly acquired skills outside of the therapy room is the goal, so we put heavy emphasis on practicing, reinforcing and generalizing skills through a variety of supports. 


The groups are run by a speech and language therapist with a high staff to student ratio. Depending on the group, peer-mentors participate as well to engage in social interaction. The group size is 3-6 students to allow for friendships, as well as individualized attention. 


How do skills transfer outside of the sessions?

Our support outside of the sessions is what makes us truly unique.

  • Participants leave sessions with a specific skill to work on before the next session

  • Participants are supported with encouraging reminders and tips sent to them during the week and they can always contact us with questions at any time. 

  • All group participants are offered individual sessions at a reduced rate to address or reinforce skills for which they may need additional support 

When are the groups offered?

  • The groups meet once a week for 90 minutes

  • The groups are run as a 10-week programs with a rolling start

How do we get started?

  • Set up a Free Phone Consultation, during which we will answer any questions you have and tell you more about our programs

  • In-person meeting. The next step is an in-person meeting. The meeting is informal; we will chat, play a game and get to know each other. The information we learn during this time will help us determine whether a group or an individual approach is appropriate.

  • A two-week trial is offered before committing to the full program, so try it risk free!