What is the Social Skills?
Social skills training at the Munroe-Meyer Institute is a program for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. Our goal is to help guide families toward best practices for improving social behaviors and engaging in new situations. Parental participation is essential to the improvement of the participants’ social skills beyond the classroom. Parents and their children are encouraged to rehearse these skills and implement them in different environments and situations.
These groups are appropriate for children and adolescents with autism who are verbal and able to participate in a small-group setting. MMI is currently offering two courses:
- School-aged children (7 to 12 years old) meet for 90 minutes over eight weeks.
- Adolescents (13 to 18 years old) meet for 90 minutes over 10-14 weeks.
Services are provided by graduate-level behavioral therapists, licensed mental health practitioners and licensed psychologists.
Currently, classes are available at the MMI main building on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus (444 S. 44th St.).
Participants learn how to:
- Make eye contact
- Share ideas
- Compliment others
- Enter and exit conversations
- Handle disagreements
- Maintain good sportsmanship
- Managing teasing and bullying
- Use humor appropriately
Children and adolescents attend social skills classes while parents/caregivers attend educational classes designed to complement each other. Children and adolescents receive didactic instruction, modeling of skills and ample opportunities to practice skills with feedback during group. Participants are expected to practice the newly learned skills in between sessions with the support of their parents.
The parent training component of the program offers guidance in how to support their child’s social skills, manage challenging behaviors, learn about school and community supports and network with other parents.
Many insurance providers offer benefits for group-based services, but it is families’ responsibility to check with their provider to confirm coverage. The Patient Information Office at MMI and the group providers can support families in seeking authorization if necessary.
To inquire about accessing services available through the Social Skills Clinic, please contact Margarita Gutierrez at 402-559-4985.