What Happens In A Social Skills Group at The Koch Center?
How are social skills groups structured?
Groups run on an 8-week-cycle, for one hour each week. Within the group hour, there are four different 15-minute components. The first 15-minutes are spent on the “News of the Week,” where each child presents something about his or her week and the other children are encouraged to ask questions and make comments. During this segment, many skills are practiced, such as making eye contact, body language, initiating and maintaining conversation.
During the second part of the group, children are presented with a social skills lesson that may be taught with a role-play activity or a game. During the next “free play” segment of the group, the therapist observes the progress of each group member and coaches him or her to use the skills previously taught in the day’s lesson. During free play, children are given direct guidance if necessary as they play with another child (versus play in a solitary activity). In the last section of the social skills group, there is a group discussion in which the skill of the day is reviewed, practiced, and then children get to choose a prize from the treasure chest.
As kids get older, the groups are adjusted to allow for more opportunity to practice appropriate socialization and to troubleshoot difficult scenarios that may arise with peers. Prizes are not used for teens.