CBS Social Skills Groups for Autism

Our Social Skills Groups for Autism are a fun way to help adults and children on the autism spectrum navigate social cues across settings and master social skills.

Social Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

It’s often difficult for adults and children on the autism spectrum to understand social cues and socialize effectively.  This can be disorienting and stressful, resulting in negative feedback and failed social interactions.  Generally, this is not due to disinterest, but rather skill deficits which can be addressed to improve even complex social behaviors such as social language, perspective-taking (empathy), problem-solving, expressing emotions, flexibility, and more.  

Social skills include things like joint attention, greetings, understanding feelings, and navigating a range of social/behavioral expectations across settings.  Mastering these skills often has a profound impact on clients’ lives; as well as the ability to make and maintain friendships, and to participate in school and the workforce.

What Are Social Skills Groups for Autism?

CBS social skills groups for autism are supervised by our Board Certified Behavior Analysts and designed based upon each client’s age, needs and developmental level.  Our groups may include structured and unstructured socialization, lesson plans to address the target social behavior, in-vivo modeling or video modeling, role play and in-vivo practice.  CBS also uses procedures such as differential reinforcement, behavioral skills training, social stories, role play, and similar social skills curricula to systematically improve social performance.  Individual and group goals are addressed in the sessions.  

To ensure the experience is appropriate for each client’s goals, functional behavior assessments (FBAs) are a prerequisite to registration.  We also use assessment tools such as the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) to develop social skills plans; and once the target skills are identified, we determine the appropriate environment for intervention—whether in one of CBS’ Irvine Centers, in the community, school, etc.  So before you begin, please contact us to speak with one of our supervising Board Certified Behavior Analysts, to make sure everything is in place.

How Do We Know Social Skills Groups for Autism Are Effective?

Beyond professional experience, research has shown that social skills groups for autism can both improve social competence and reduce problem behaviors; and that skills learned in group settings generalize to settings outside of treatment.  (Tse, et al., 2007.)  Research also shows that behavioral skills training is ideal because social contexts can be simulated, the client can rehearse social skills in controlled settings, and target behaviors can be effectively reinforced and shaped.  (Miltenberger, et al., 2017.)  Improving social skills deficits may also improve mood, and help to address depression and anxiety among those with autism.  (Rumney, et al., 2017.)  But ultimately—regardless of what researchers say—each client is different, and the best evidence is success.  So come and find out for yourself what social skills groups for autism can do!

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Miltenberger, R., Zerger, H., Novotny, M., Livingston, C. (2017).  Behavioral skills training to promote social behavior of individuals with Autism.  In:  Leaf J. (eds)  Handbook of Social Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Autism and Child Pathology Series, 325-342.

Rumney, H., McMahon, K. (2017).  Do social skills interventions positively influence mood in children and young people with autism?  A systematic review.  Mental Health & Prevention, 5, 12-20.

Tse, J. Strulovitch, J., Tagalakis, V. et al. (2007).  Social skills training for adolescents with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. J. Autism Dev. Disord., 37, 1960-1968.

CBS Social Skills Groups are proudly offered in partnership with Behavioral Education Skill Treatment Center, Inc. (BEST).