Social Thinking & Social Skills Program

Our unique About Face! Friendships program is designed to improve social, communication and conversation skills in children and adolescents. Based on the highly successful Social Thinking® model developed by world-renowned expert Michelle Garcia Winner, students are taught in a way that not only emphasizes the social skills required in particular situations, but more importantly, the social thinking behind the use of these skills. This may include perspective taking, which is understanding that others have “thoughts” separate from our own, to interpreting and responding to the nuances of verbal and non-verbal communication. Learn more about Social Thinking® at Michelle Garcia Winner's website. The training is offered individually

Why are Social Skills so important?

Social skills impact on every part of our lives. They seem innate for many, but this is not always the case for many children and adolescents, particularly those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since social skills are fundamental in life success, it is vital that these children learn and practise these social rules to compensate for what does not come naturally to them.

Who is the training for?

The About Face! Social Skills Program™ has been designed for children and adolescents who need specific instruction and practise in improving their communication, social and/or friendship skills. This includes, but is not limited to, children diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD).

What skills are taught? 

The various skills taught in the individualised sessions, are reinforced  through fun activities and games to practise Social Thinking® concepts, guided role play, use of Social Stories™, Comic Strip Conversations, and video presentations. Information is provided to parents and caregivers detailing the goals of the sessions and suggestions for further practise and reinforcement techniques. Topics covered may include, 

- Greetings

- Whole body listening 

- Body language (“talking without words”)

- Eye contact ("thinking with your eyes")

- Facial expression

- Gesture & posture

- Don’t be a ‘space invader’

- Tone of voice 

- Starting, maintaining & ending conversations

- Use your H.E.A.D in conversation

- Making and maintaining friendships

- Joining others in play/a group

- Recognising & identifying emotions

- Respecting other’s feeling/opinions

- Perspective taking and empathy

- Compromising & sharing

- Taking turns

- Arguments and apologies

- Don’t be the “rule police”

- Being a good sport