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Social Skills Training Group

Summary of Services


  • Age range: 3 years – 12 years
  • Hours range: a minimum of 6 hours per week
  • Duration of services: dictated by need
  • Locations of services: H.O.P.E. Center
  • Areas served: Sacramento and surrounding regions (see ‘Services’ page for more information)


Social Skills Training Group (SSTG)


The Social Skills Training Group (SSTG) was designed to cater to children between 3 to 12 years of age, that have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. SSTG is housed at our H.O.P.E. Center to allow for the incorporation of both small and large group instruction, according to both a ‘push-in’ and ‘pull-out’ model, utilizing a behavior analytic approach. Teaching delivered in this setting provides subsequent opportunities to practice targeted social skills in a natural manner, in a fully-integrated environment. Social skills domains addressed include, but are not limited to: communication, cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, engagement, and self-control.

Every client’s program begins with an extensive assessment to identify individual strengths and deficits across developmental domains (e.g., communication, social-emotional, cognitive, play, physical development, adaptive behavior, and problem behavior). Detailed goals are developed in alignment with best practice and current behavior analytic research and literature, and recommendations are written regarding the appropriateness and intensity of behavior analytic services. Assessment allows for services to be individually tailored, meeting the unique needs of each client and family. The comprehensive assessment will require 2 two-hour visits to the H.O.P.E. Center and a third 30-minute meeting or phone conference to discuss assessment scores, proposed goals, and recommendations.

The first assessment visit consists of a one-hour parent interview and a one-hour child observation. During the parent interview, your child will join the other children at the H.O.P.E. Center. Following the parent interview, the Clinical Supervisor (CS) or Program Manager (PM) will provide you with a packet of forms to complete and ask you to return in an hour to pick up your child.  While you are away, qualified team members will observe your child participating in scheduled activities and collect assessment information.

The second visit is typically scheduled one week after the first visit, and consists of a two-hour child observation. For this visit, you will be asked to drop off your child at the H.O.P.E. Center and return to pick him/her up two hours later. During this observation, your child will join the other children at the H.O.P.E. Center and participate in the scheduled activities. Qualified team members will complete the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) – Teacher Rating form during this visit, and the information will be used for the development of goals and recommendations.

A final visit – a parent meeting – will be scheduled within two weeks of the second visit to discuss the results of the SSIS, your child’s program and goals, recommendations, answer any additional questions, and determine scheduling.


What will SSTG sessions look like?


SSGT sessions will consist of a combination of pull out, push in, and full inclusion mini-sessions.

  • Pull out – Your child will learn targeted social skills via activities, themed worksheets (e.g., identifying feelings), role playing, and other tasks within a small group (i.e., up to 6 peers) setting.
  • Push in – Within the larger group (i.e., all peers at the H.O.P.E. Center) setting, a teacher or aide will create and/or capture naturalistic teaching situations and prompt your child to practice targeted social skills which correspond to his/her goals.
  • Full inclusion – Your child will participate in regularly scheduled activities with typically developing peers, without additional help from a team member to perform targeted social skills, permitting for the targeted planning and assessment of generalization to a natural setting.




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