Saturday, March 05, 2005

Social Skills Classes

We have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what social skills opportunities there are out there. We've lived in two different states since Will was diagnosed, and had social skills opportunities in both states. The class Will is in currently is run through a program that is paid for by the state, but soon that funding will be cut, and we will have to pay a fairly large copayment.

We have also tried a class through a learning center like Sylvan learning centers. It was a fairly relaxed class for a small group, run by a psychologist. We opted out of that class so that we could start a program that was specifically geared towards kids who are on the spectrum.

Both classes have their advantages and disadvantages. The state-funded program is geared towards ASD kids, and so the therapists are schooled in ASD tendencies, and have an understanding that other programs may not have. It's a nice place to go, where the kids can feel comfotable with their friends. There is lots of group work, social skills development, singing, sharing, and cooperative play. My only concern is that the program may not be as individually geared towards my son as I would hope.

The learning center program is less intense, and much more relaxed, but the psychologist met with the parents regularly to ask what our concerns were for our children. Then the psychologist running the social skills class would work specifically on the concerns we expressed during the psychologist/parent interview. The class may not have been as specifically designed toward ASD kids, but it was a smaller group, and the kids really learned to like each other.

Look into whatever groups you can find through the state, but don't discount other opportunities as well, especially ones that aren't necessarily labeled as being for ASD kids.


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