School Year Social Coaching Program
The TDS Social Coaching Program is a unique and exciting program that is individually designed based on review of student records and discussion with families. Students meet weekly either individually or in a small group.
Focused is placed on building social competency skills both in a therapeutic environment and out in the community. With the assistance of trained peer mentors, students are given support in recognizing and navigating socially-challenging situations. This support allows the students to gain confidence in their social abilities as they are afforded the opportunity to have successful social exchanges.
Specific social competencies are taught through various means, which include but are not limited to: explicit teaching, role-play, theater games, group discussion and writing. Using multiple venues ensures that these concepts will be acquired and generalized for furthering social success. To further generalize skills taught, the students apply social thinking skills on community outings with the assistance of trained peer mentors.
Throughout all sessions, the vocabulary and theory of mind ideas of Michelle Garcia Winner are utilized to increase awareness and understanding of social nuances.
The weekly program runs from one to two hours, depending on the activity and the students' stamina. Activities include preparing for and experiencing real world activities, utilizing community resources and preparing for future vocations.
Summer Social Coaching Program
This seven-week summer program takes a practical approach to learning the skills necessary for understanding and operating within common social situations. Small groups of students and peer mentors will spend two successive days together each week. Weekly themes that relate to real-world experiences, such as going to the movies, eating out and leisure activities, will be explored. A strong emphasis will be placed on the group process and joint decision-making.
Day One will focus on preparing for an outing by discussing the steps involved, planning each specific activity, negotiating choices with peers in the group and role-playing scenarios that they may encounter on Day Two.
Day Two will be spent on a community outing where students will be able to put into practice the skills and plans they have developed together. Social skills and peer relations will consistently be explored and practiced within this supportive and student-generated program.
Each day will be three hours long and will include some unstructured time during which the students will have access to age-appropriate games and music.
There may be activities fees in addition to the tuition for this intensive program.