Moving Up the Autistic Ladder
My son began a social skills class at age three. As of last week, he is now officially in a “teen club.”
What is a social skills class?
A social skills class is a structured environment with one to one, partner, or group facilitation. The groups consist of four to six children who are all similarly located on the autism spectrum. Their needs, challenges, and strengths are in close approximation to each other. The group is facilitated by two professionals. They work on building the skills of socialization for child on the autism spectrum. They talk, play games together, and build the skills of functional socialization.
At the age of thirteen, my child “aged up” or graduated from the social skills group he had attended since age three. He moved into a Teen Club at the same facility.
How does the teen club differ from the social skills group?
The teen club group at this facility is very large and meets twice a week. My son is now one of the youngest in the group. Most of the kids are seventeen or eighteen. And, there are four kids to one facilitator.
What are the advantage of a teen club?
Twice a week, my son socializes with “like-minded” peers. One day a week they meet at the facility where they interact in small groups or sometimes have a larger group presentation. They discuss their lives and play games oriented to get to know each other. They also plan their Saturday outings.
On the second day, a Saturday, the group meets in the community for planned outings.
They meet in a variety of locations.
*A gaming store
The goal is to have the kids interact within the community, using their improving social skills out in the real world. This keeps socializing fresh and moves our kids forward into real life experiences.
My son has only just begun this next stage in his social development. It is geared for a more mature approach for our kids to interact in the community.
Hopefully, my son will respond in positive ways with this latest transition and continue his progress toward becoming a full-fledged adult.
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