It's very common that parents ask "How do I find a good social skills training program?" You, of course, want to be a good consumer when you are looking for a good social skills program. There are a few things you need to look for.
- Social skills should be taught in a group setting with other kids who are around the same age and developmental level as your child.
- You also want to make sure that this is evidence-based, meaning that it actually works.
- You also want to look for a program that's parent-assisted. What that means is you, as a parent, want to be included in the treatment and you want to act as a social coach to your kid when they are not in a social skills group, which is the vast majority of the time.
- There needs to be some kind of didactic lesson each week when they are targeting one type of skill using concrete rules and social etiquette.
- There needs to be some kind of demonstration of what these skills are supposed to look like. These are called "role-playing exercises;" which sometimes show what to do but also show what not to do.
- opportunity to practice the skills in the session. That's called, "behavioral rehearsal," where they are practicing the newly learned skill and receiving performance feedback from the coaching team.
- homework assignment each week, where they are practicing that new skill in the real world, hopefully, with parent assistance.