Social Skills Programs


Teaching Social Communication

to Children with ASD

(Ingersol and Dvortcsak)

For parents/caregivers of children birth to 6 years of age who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or social communication deficits.

Duration:   We offer two social skills programs:

1)     Individual Presentation:  24 private sessions , 60-90 min each, with subsequent monthly follow-up sessions as needed.

2)     Group Presentation (6-8 families):  12 sessions total; (6) 2-hour group sessions and (6) 1-hour private coaching sessions with each family with periodic monitoring sessions as needed. 


Intervention techniques are drawn from developmental social-interaction and behavioural framework.  The program’s focus is to train parents/caregivers to increase the following core skills in the child:

  1. Social Engagement
  2. Communication/Language Development
  3. Social Imitation
  4. Play


I. Children’s Friendship Program

This is a 12-week program for children in elementary school.  Each 1.5 hr session presents a new skill and opportunities to practice with peers. Parents attend a concurrent class and learn how to facilitate the use of social skills in everyday situations.

Social skills presented include how to:

  • Initiate and maintain conversations
  • Make a good first impression
  • Join in on play with others
  • Handle rejections, teasing, and bullying
  • Be a good host on a play date
  • Be a good sport

II. Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS)

 The PEERS is a 14-week social skills program for teens in middle school or high school that want to improve their ability to make and keep friends. During the 1.5 hr sessions, teens will be learn and practice an important social skill. Parents learn ways to facilitate and are involved in weekly home activities with their teen.

Social Skills covered include how to:

  • appropriate conversational skills
  • find common interests
  • use humor
  • initiate conversation
  • handle rejection, teasing, and bullying
  • handle rumors and gossip
  • be a good host at gatherings
  • choice appropriate friends
  • handle disagreements