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Social Skills Classes for Older Children

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20150714_174916.jpgSummers at CTC are special for older children, who have an opportunity to practice their social skills in the real world with some help from speech-language pathologists Carmen Glasgow and Ashlee Ward. “Some of our older kids need help developing independence in the community,” Ashlee explains. “Community outings are an opportunity to work on skills in a way that is motivating and meaningful.”

The group meets weekly for 10 weeks. They alternate practicing for the outing – watching a video, role-playing, and discussing various scenarios – and putting their skills to the test at places like Target or a local frozen yogurt shop. “We’re working on functioning in a group and with different types of people,” says Carmen. “For example, we practice responding to others or asking a follow up question, maintaining good personal space, using an appropriate vocal volume for the type of setting we are in, and staying with the group when we are out in the community.”

The involvement of parents is essential. “Our goal is that parents will continue to meet up at different community places once the group is finished,” Carmen says. “They’ve told us it’s helpful for them to learn how to build their own skills in helping their children succeed. We help them by creating a positive outing and showing them some strategies to try in the future.”

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