At GroupWorks West we believe group experience enhances social motivation and social competence, promotes positive problem-solving skills, develops strong social communication skills (verbal and non-verbal), and improves self-awareness and self-confidence. Our groups also provide a forum for members to create lasting and meaningful social connections and thereby learn about the value of relationships.
One of the most complicated and challenging aspects of running groups with children and teens with ASD is to create an environment in which the relationships in the group are more important than group activities. Most social skills groups focus on playing games and other rule governed social activities. At GroupWorks West we engage only in dynamic activities that are designed specifically to increase social motivation and the capacity for empathy, social improvisation and social collaboration.
At Groupworks West we believe in developing social thinking — not scripted social behaviors. As such, we do not prompt, lecture, or give rewards because these techniques serve to decrease mindfulness, social problem-solving and social motivation while increasing static, inflexible, and thoughtless social behavior.
- Groups meet once per week for 60, 90 and 120 minutes at a cost of $60.00 per hour (for a minimum of a sixteen-week period). A sliding scale is available to all.
- Mandatory group parent education sessions are conducted every month to provide feedback about group and to provide parents with the skills needed to enhance social development at home.
- We require all parents to attend consultation sessions with one of our staff members once per month to address the individual needs of their child.
- Parent education sessions are guided by a 10 step curriculum designed to increase knowledge and increase the use of effective coaching and problem solving strategies
- Home visits and school consultation are available upon request.