Social Skills Groups at The Koch Center

Social Skills Groups at The Koch Center

These are the grade groupings* of the social skills groups at The Koch Center.  Groups meet for 1 hour per week for eight weeks and are held in our Waldwick, Englewood, and Montclair locations.

  • Nursery-PreK (Coed Groups)

  • Grades K-2 (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

  • Grades 3-5 (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

  • Grades 6-8 (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

  • High School Groups (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

*Occasionally, we will offer groups that differ from the groupings listed when we have clinical rationale to do so.

How are our social skills groups created?

Our social skills groups are designed to developmentally address the needs of children in a safe, supported, and structured environment.  Our child treatment team of therapists reviews each group placement to ensure a proper fit.  Because children interact with a wide variety of peers with different personal styles and skill sets in school, sports, activities, we ensure appropriate diversity within our groups in terms of members’ ages and skill development.  Our group therapists build each group’s curriculum and goals based on the needs of the each group’s particular group members.


Below is information about the different childhood developmental challenges that kids experience.

Nursery-PreK (Coed Groups)

During the preschool years, children begin to see themselves as individuals.  They start to understand their emotions and the emotions of others, and begin to want to do things on their own.  At this time, children start friendships and want to join with other children.  It is natural for children at this age to struggle with aggression and anger.  It can be a challenge for preschoolers to modulate their anger and tolerate when they do not get their way.  Children at this age also are required to learn to play and behave according to specified rules and norms.  If a child has difficulty adhering to rules in play and at school, this can result in strained relationships and impact a child’s sense of him/herself.

Grades K-2 (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

A major developmental transition for children within this age bracket is learning to adjust to the structure of school.  For the first time, children may be away from home for a full eight hours, and are learning to make that adjustment while also acclimating to the school culture and social environment.  Some children have difficulty in structured and unstructured activities that can manifest in/or be a product of: anger and frustration, acting ‘selfish’ or ‘bossy,’ hyperactivity or boredom, or being bothersome with others. These behaviors can push peers away and impact a child’s achievement level within the classroom.

Grades 3-5 (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

In grades 3-5, children become increasingly aware of how they compare to others.  Peers begin to identify and label one another based on social traits such as: athletics, looks, and academics.  Children may become aware of which group they fall into and also use these groups to gauge their own abilities.  Children may also become aware of which groups they are not a part of, and may struggle to find ways to join in other already established peer groups.

Grades 6-8 (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

Often dubbed the “tween “years, this age group typically finds themselves caught be’tween’ childhood and adolescence.  During this time, kids may feel social pressure to leave aspects of their childhood behind.  They try to work out for themselves what it means to become a pre-teenager.  Interest in the opposite sex becomes important for the first time.  Peers may start to place significance on material things, which may influence status.  Children with social skills issues may encounter bullying or social shunning.

High School Groups (Coed and Single Sex Groups)

Friends and peers are the central focus during the teen years, and a major challenge that many face involves peer pressure and conformity.  Teens are trying to foster a greater sense of independence from parents, while often maintain strong allegiances to their friend groups. They are also faced with increased pressure in academics and sports, as these areas tend to become more competitive.  Older adolescents also have to navigate and manage the college preparation process, including SAT testing, college applications, etc.  This can create anxiety, frustration, and tension within the family system.