Children with ADHD and Autism are often in need of direct instruction regarding social cognition and social skills compared to typical peers who often learn these skills incidentally through trial and error and experience.  This is where social language therapy in a group setting can be advantageous! 

Social cognition is the way in which people process, remember, and use information in social contexts to explain and predict their own behavior and that of others. Children’s social cognition may be influenced by multiple factors, both external and internal to the child.” Frontiers in Psychology/ Developmental psychology

Social group therapy is when 2 or more children work together in a group setting and the group is facilitated by a therapist who has studied and is able to guide the group on understanding and using social cognitive skills.  Typically this group is facilitated by a speech language pathologist, psychologist, counselor, BCBA, occupational therapist, or social worker.  

Skills that may be addressed during social group therapy include (but are not limited to): 

  • Demonstrating joint attention (eye gaze toward object of topic and/or speaker) 
  • Initiating tasks or conversations
  • Understanding abstract concepts such body language, inferences, and figurative language 
  • Understanding their own thoughts and feelings 
  • Understanding others have thoughts and feelings that may be the same or different than their own 
  • Big picture thinking vs. detail thinking 
  • Humor – when to use, who to use it with / “Code Switching” – that the way one talks with peers may be different than they way one talks with adults 
  • Socially asking questions, answering questions, making comments, extending the conversation 
  • Following social conventions/ rules 
  • Impulsivity 
  • Present Moment Awareness 
  • Understanding values and making committed actions as working towards those values 
  • Defusing negative thoughts 
  • Exploring new / different foods 

At Aaris Therapy, our social group instruction is led by recent research.  We use published curriculums such as Social Thinking, Acceptance and Commitment Training, and  Zones of Regulation to name a few.  Our social group therapists are trained and educated as well as experienced in working with children with ASD, ADHD, and other developmental disorders who demonstrate difficulty with social cognition and following social conventions.  Working with students with Autism and Social Cognitive deficits is one of our specialties! 

During the school year we offer weekly after school groups at our Niles Office for children ages 3 to 18.  In the summer, some groups are also available during the day as well as our summer social camp in June.  

If you have concerns about your child’s social cognitive skills and abilities, please call 330-505-1606 or you may email with questions or to schedule a consultation. 

http://Aaris Therapy Social Group Information

We are an approved provider by the Ohio Department of Education for the Jon Peterson Special Needs and Autism Scholarship. More information can be found here: ODE Autism Scholarship Program and here: ODE JPSN.

Aaris Therapy’s scholarship information page.

We look forward to meeting you and helping you get the services your child needs.