“Social skills are core interpersonal, verbal, and nonverbal abilities, including eye contact and body language that allow a person to engage in interpersonal interactions. Social competence encompasses all social skills, and more importantly, the outcome of an individual’s interaction with others throughout development”
(Morrison & Blackburn, 2008).
One of the core deficits of ASD is a significant impairment in social development. The social development programs offered by CCDE focus on remediating social deficits, while building social competency. Traditionally, children and teens with ASD have been thought to be unable to form social attachments and have no desire to do so. In fact, all of the children in our programs have strong social attachments with family members and often with other familiar non-family adults. Most of the children in our programs also demonstrate a desire for social peer relationships but have been at a loss as to how to obtain and sustain those relationships.
CCDE’s social skill development programs are based on the overriding philosophy of tolerance for others, and as important, personal responsibility. These social skills form the foundation of skills needed to be successful at school, home, and in the community. CCDE, along with Oakstone Academy, are committed to positive character building for our children and teens with ASD. Each faculty member strives to model and foster the development and demonstration of the following personal character concepts in our children and teens: respect, honesty, responsibility, caring and kindness.
Social groups vary depending on the age and functioning level of the child, however several common components are essential from toddler age groups through teens. Children and teens with ASD are unable to efficiently and effectively interpret social expectations and norms, as well as recognizing and understanding the social intentions of others. Therefore, immersion in same age environments or groups is the most efficient setting for remediating social deficits.
The foundation of all of CCDE social programs is based on visually and verbally defining social expectations and boundaries. Precisely clear, direct, and consistent expectations and boundaries provide the structure and predictability needed to support children and teens with ASD. Supporting children and teens with ASD environmentally and contextually promotes opportunities for them to acquire, practice with feedback, and master social skills.