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Do Social Skills groups really help?


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#1 poppy

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:14 AM

If you've used one for your child, would you say it made a difference?

 

Thinking about it for DD9.  Shet has a really hard time reading social cues and connecting with other kids, and has social anxiety on top of that.

She's had social skills counseling and read the books and can tell you exactly how you're supposed to behave among peers.... but can't apply it.

She's lonely and desperate for friends.

 

I want to know if the group will help her in real life. It's a far drive and would cost us $100/month.  I'll do it without hesitation if it will help.



#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:23 AM

I think that is really going to depend on how well they implement the social skills class and how good a fit it will be for your particular child.  Can you sit in on a session or two first?  Is there any way to read some independent reviews of the facility?  Have you been there to talk to them in person and see what kind of vibe you get?

 

I do think social skills classes can be a huge help since many I know have had great success but from what I have had friends say it very much depends on the way it is handled, what the underlying causes for issues may be with a particular child, etc.

 

You do want one that keeps groups small and does group dynamics.  If all they do is practice with the child in isolation then the child gets no real practical experience working with other kids.


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#3 amy g.

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:25 AM

I wish I could help, but my Dd was never willing to try one even though every professional she worked with suggested it.

#4 Farrar

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:37 AM

We've never needed one for my kids, but I've seen them flop and seen them make a big difference for kids when I was teaching. So... I think it really depends on the group, the needs of the kid, the person running it... it's a bit of a toss up. Of course, you never know until you try.



#5 Innisfree

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:37 AM

I wish I could help, but my Dd was never willing to try one even though every professional she worked with suggested it.


Very much the same here (tried it reluctantly and hated it), but I know some kids love them. I think it really depends on the kid and the group.

#6 Catwoman

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:46 AM

If you've used one for your child, would you say it made a difference?

Thinking about it for DD9. Shet has a really hard time reading social cues and connecting with other kids, and has social anxiety on top of that.
She's had social skills counseling and read the books and can tell you exactly how you're supposed to behave among peers.... but can't apply it.
She's lonely and desperate for friends.

I want to know if the group will help her in real life. It's a far drive and would cost us $100/month. I'll do it without hesitation if it will help.


Does she want to give it a try? I think if it's something she wants to do, she will be likely to get something out of it.

I like OneStepAtaTime's idea of seeing if you and your dd can sit in on a group meeting or two before you sign up and pay, so you can see if it would be a good fit for her.

I really admire you for wanting to actively help your dd work on her social skills. So many parents figure the kid will grow out of their social awkwardness, but you see your dd feeling lonely and you want to help her learn how to make friends and feel more comfortable in social situations while she's still young. She's lucky to have you for her mom, poppy. :hurray:
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#7 ThursdayNext

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:47 AM

I've been trying to find one, as they recommended a social skills group for my 6 year old with autism. But everything is over an hour away! Could it be worth the drive?

#8 OhElizabeth

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:50 AM

Is that $100 for once a month or weekly? If it's weekly, the price is so low that it's at least worth a try. We always have to drive 1 hour each way for good services, and I've drive 2+ hours each way, sometimes weekly, for really good therapies for my ds. I wouldn't blink an eye over $100 a month. That's a drop in the bucket.

 

Can you get a BCBA locally to work with her? They'll be close to that monthly fee just for one hour, but yeah that's a way to do it. Or go to the Social Thinking training yourself. It's really not like boom one class, once a month, problem solved, at least for my ds. It's plant a seed, water the seed, spread some manure on the seed (oops, I didn't say that), give it a little stake and support... 

 

You could probably do the social skills group AND some other options and not be overkill. Yes, when they've read the books and can't apply it for themselves, by themselves, they're going to need some help.


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#9 OhElizabeth

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:51 AM

I've been trying to find one, as they recommended a social skills group for my 6 year old with autism. But everything is over an hour away! Could it be worth the drive?

 

This is just replying to you, but no way would I drive that far for it in *your* situation. You have multiple littles, and a BCBA in your home could create insta social skills class just using siblings. I would bring in a behaviorist, do services in-home. It will be more effective and more sane.



#10 lauranc

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:53 AM

My dd participated in a social skills group (with other teen girls) for about a year.  She liked going and playing the games etc..  But nothing she 'learned' there ever transferred to real life.  We stopped going because it was a lot of money and no real benefit. (although she did enjoy it while she was there!)



#11 Library Momma

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:59 AM

Is there something on one of your local public schools that you could participate in?  Most elementary schools have a variety of groups that meet for this purpose during and after school.



#12 CPSTAnne

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:03 AM

I honestly didn't really see a difference with DD when she did one last summer. It was once a week for I think 6 weeks. But I think the class was geared to social skills a step down from where she was so she just didn't gain much new information or skills from that. Maybe a targeted class for higher functioning social skills would have helped more, idk. She went to PS this year, though, and that was one of the reasons why. I've been very frustrated with our PS experience, but it *has* helped in that area. I think she is more socially aware now and responds more appropriately. Her OT said she thinks she would still benefit from another social skills class session, but that it's not a high enough priority to stress our schedule or have her miss anything. The ones they've been running this year interfere with tumbling which her OT says she needs more. So we may give it another try this summer, or not. I'm not sure yet.

 

I think it would depend a lot on the specific class and child but that it's probably worth a try if it's being recommended. $100/month is good if that's weekly classes. Ours was $35 a week. It's kind of one of those things you may regret if you never try, but if you try and it does nothing, well at least you tried and no regrets. 


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#13 poppy

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:20 AM

It is $25 a week (co-pay).  If we didn't do this, we'd get piano lessons.  But this is more urgent; piano can wait.

 

It sounds like a "worth a shot" plus it MAY make a genuine difference.

 

Very good feedback, thanks everyone.



#14 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:42 AM

I've known 3 families who tried and felt their children benefitted from these classes.

Two were kids with Asbergers and one was autistic.

 

But, I don't know whether they tried books first and whether the classes were incrementally better.

 

Actually, what books did you use for this?  I would like to pass the information along to the two families whose kids are still young.



#15 idnib

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:20 PM

Yes it was very helpful, although DS was ages 7-9 so I can't speak to experience for an older child.



#16 Crimson Wife

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:45 PM

My child with HFA has done them and they are really hit-or-miss depending on the specific group of kids and the facilitators. She is doing one at her ABA clinic right now and it is pretty good. It would be better if they had some typical kids to serve as role models (they have done this in the past by bringing in the children of staff members but during the school year they don't have any typical kids).

 

I have heard excellent things about the PEERS model out of UCLA. That is geared towards adolescents so my child is too young right now.


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