Reach offers social skills group for children with Autism

Early next month, Reach Child and Youth Development Society offers a social skills group for children between the ages of seven and 13 who are in grades 3 to 7.

Reach’s Social Smart Group incorporates games, activities and local outings to help facilitate the development of social skills for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It uses a curriculum based from the work of Jed Baker, Ph.D., and Scott Bellini, Ph.D., that teaches social skills through video modeling and small group instruction.

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The goal of the group is to help foster learning, maintenance and the generalization of important social skills, such as flexible thinking and perspective taking, initiating and maintaining conversations, and emotional regulation. The Social Smart Group is designed as a learning environment for children and youth to engage with similarly aged peers to build friendships that will sustain over time.  

“It’s so rewarding to witness a child’s social understanding and see their confidence increase over time, as well as to see them make and maintain friendships in this group,” said Ashleigh Toulson, Behaviour Consultant with Social Smart Group.

This 24-week course will be held at the Lois E. Jackson Reach Child Development Centre in Ladner on Thursdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m., beginning Oct. 3. The cost is $75 per session and $1,800 total for all sessions. Families can use their autism funding to cover the cost. As each session builds on the previous one, commitment to attending all 24 sessions is requested. Contact Bethany Goossen for more information at

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