Generalizing

Are you concerned that your child seems to easily learn the mechanics of social interaction but inconsistently or rarely uses them in context?

Feedback from parents, teachers, and the children themselves report that the process we use in the Kids Cooperate social skills groups is effective in helping children on the Autism spectrum to internalize and integrate new skills in a way that allows them to be generalized across contexts. Each group is structured around a three part process that introduces a concept, reinforces it through discussion, and then provides the opportunity to practice and apply the new skill in context. 

First, director Aaron Weintraub offers specific instruction using as many concrete examples, and as much humor as possible. Next, peer models and facilitators support discussion and encourage empathetic listening, and draw out the children's stories of their experiences. Last, facilitators scaffold peer interaction in small group activities and look for the teachable moments where they can offer interventions in context, supporting pro social behaviors through positive feedback and reflection, while gently redirecting negative habits by offering replacement behaviors.

By offering clear instruction, helping the children to connect it to their own experiences, and then creating opportunities for them to practice and apply these skills in a supported environment, new social skills are more easily internalized.