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Social and Emotional Skills Group for Young Children on the Autistic Spectrum

This program includes specialized groups for both parent and child.

The child therapy group uses a play-based model to foster social relationships and emotional skill building. The group activities are designed to increase shared attention and engagement with others in order to build the child's interest and pleasure in relating to others. Activities foster communication of both emotions and ideas. Structured problem solving activities and role play offer children the opportunity to practice negotiating and expand their repertoire of interaction skills. Children are also taught relaxation skills in order increase emotional regulation.

The purpose of the parent group is first to keep parents abreast of the skills their children are learning so they can follow up at home and share information with their schools. The second purpose is to offer support specific to the challenges of raising children on the Autistic Spectrum.

A variety of topics are discussed based on parent interest and can include everything from current research to school advocacy.

The program is designed for children 6 and 7 years of age with a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Autism or Asperger's. The group runs for ten weeks and consists of six children at a time.

For more information, contact Amy Beale at 464-3185 or bealea@upstate.edu.