About Social Thinking Groups

Most people learn social thinking skills without even being aware of it and intuitively know how to read others’ feelings and adjust their own behavior to enhance the relationship. Others either do not have this ability or have this ability to a lesser degree. These individuals may be extremely bright and may be quite accomplished in other areas but they have very real, very limiting deficits in the area of social behavior. Children may struggle with maintaining friendships with peers; teens may become ostracized because they don’t “fit in”; adults may have found a small group of peers with whom they can relate, but may have difficulty displaying the behaviors valued in the workplace. These persons usually want very much to “fit in”, but they do not process social information adequately, and do not understand others’ perceptions very well.

These are the individuals Behavior Plus, Inc. wishes to help – those that may or may not have any diagnosis, but are experiencing difficulties making and keeping friends, interacting with co-workers, and determining how to read and follow those confusing, unwritten “laws” that govern our relationships with others.

Behavior Plus, Inc. provides group training to help individuals develop better social thinking skills. Emphasis is placed on understanding why the skill should be demonstrated in this particular situation, and why it would be inappropriate in another situation. We help develop an understanding of the need to demonstrate expected, appropriate behavior; how to determine what is expected and appropriate; and how to execute those behaviors in as natural a manner as possible.

What is Available

Groups are available for children, teens, young adults, and mature adults. Groups are formed based on age/grade, needs, and personalities. Additional groups are formed as soon as similar applicants are identified. Most groups meet for 45 minutes on a weekly basis. Occasionally, groups meet in the community to practice their newly developing skills in other settings. This helps them to generalize their skills to home, schools, jobs, and the community.

Getting Others Involved

Parents of young group participants are expected to attend a short feedback session (approximately ten minutes) at the conclusion of each group session. During this time, the day’s lesson and the homework assignment for the week will be explained to the parents. Parents can greatly accelerate their child’s learning by continuing the practice at home, using the same phraseology and strategies that are being used in group. For group members who are entering the teen-age years, parent feedback is continued, but more responsibility is placed on the teen for practicing the skills throughout the week.

Parent workshops will also be provided from time to time to increase parents’ level of understanding and to provide strategies to use in the home to manage behavior more effectively.

Sibling workshops/meetings, extended family workshops/meetings, and significant others workshops/meetings may also be scheduled from time to time.

Changing long-standing habits and learning new skills and new ways of thinking is hard work. It is important that loved ones understand the struggle and what they can do to help. Behavior Plus, Inc. also provides training, consultation, and support for school personnel and employers.