Social Skills Developmental Groups

Holding Hands’ social skills program provides children and teens with special needs social experiences in the center and the community. Because children learn through play, Holding Hands’ social skills program focuses on learning social skills through “hands-on” experiential play. Holding Hands Pediatric Therapy and Diagnostics has developed a curriculum of strategies, games, and activities that we incorporate into our social skills groups. Our groups at Holding Hands are structured and “affect” based; content does not have as much importance as the processes. Processes may include turn-taking, maintaining eye contact with peers, referencing, negotiating, following others’ lead, attending, affect, engagement level, waiting, and self-regulating in a group setting. The therapist will address processes depending on individual goals and group needs. A social skills therapist at Holding Hands acts as a group facilitator rather than a teacher, facilitating the interaction while maintaining the group dynamics. Through words, affect, and action, the therapist creates a rope that extends from one peer to the other, encouraging an inter-circular relationship.

Our social skills developmental program serves children and teens with moderate developmental social challenges who are not clinically suitable for a structured social skills training program (refer to social skills training). Each social skills group meets once a week for 90 minutes on a specific day and time with the same peers and therapist(s) facilitating the group at the Holding Hands location.