ABA-Based Social Skills Therapy in Houston, TX
Welcome to Club TLC! Behavior TLC’s social skills group for autism for 1st through 8th grade students! Club TLC is an after school ABA program that is geared towards improving and teaching social skills, peer interactions and leisure activities, as well as touching on any mild barriers to this behavioral success!
We get alot of questions about Social Skills and ABA Therapy for autism. So, we wanted to start at the beginning with our answers!
What is ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. More specifically, it is defined as the science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied to improve socially significant behaviors, and analysis is used to identify the variables that are responsible for the improvement in behavior (Cooper, John O., Heron, Timothy E., & Heward, William L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis: Second Edition. Upper Saddle River: NJ.).
Simply put, ABA is a therapy that uses science to guide learning and behavior change!
ABA supports each learner by individualizing goals, regular assessment to track progress, creating a treatment plan that is successful as shown by clear data, and bridging that success to the community through caregiver training. Each goal is broken down into smaller portions to increase access to reinforcement and promote motivation to continue learning. Our model is based on the fact that every child is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and we work with every family to find the best results for them.
What Behaviors Are Helped With ABA?
When some people hear the word “behavior” they think of hitting, screaming, running away, or even self-injury. While these certainly are behaviors we focus on decreasing in therapy, we also target other behaviors to increase. Behaviors to learn or increase are arguably some of the most important!!
These behaviors include:
- Peer play
- Eye contact
- Self help
- Environmental awareness
- Leisure activities
These are just a few of the many behaviors that we target in ABA.
Who Is ABA Therapy A Good Fit For?
ABA is for any and all! The practice of using behavioral therapy and ABA is something that all can benefit from. This incredible science is not only for individuals on the spectrum or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders). Our science has practitioners and researchers working in the areas of substance abuse, sports psychology, brain injury, eating disorders, anxiety, OCD, and much more!
Therefore, at Club TLC and Behavior TLC we offer consultations to all who can benefit!
What Is Social Skills Group Therapy?
Many people think of things such as having a conversation, making friends, and getting to know someone new. Also, making a new best friend while playing an epic video game all-nighter or building up the courage to slip a valentine in your middle school crushes locker. While these certainly are excellent examples of social life skills and can be crucial parts of a growing individual’s life, there are parts of learning social skills that some individuals may not be aware of.
Primarily, there is an incredible need for social skills in our education system. When we approach the concept of social skills from an academic point of view, we see that there are many skills to study and work on and improve upon. This goes for all of us, not just those with special needs. The more we learn about the concept of ‘social skills’ the easier it is to see how crucial it is in all aspects of life.
Those who struggle with social skills need more support and nurture than a simple chat or talk therapy session. They need a complete breakdown of a social task into its small components or parts and how to move through those components (this is what ABA calls a Task Analysis). The parts and components can sometimes be very nuanced and complex or not always as they seem. This is where the expertise of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is able to not only break down and analyze components of social needs but can then teach those skills through different mediums:
- Traditional Group Lessons
- Group Games
- Video Lessons and Chats
- Real Life and In-Community Training
- Modeling Scenarios
- Self and Parent Guided Homework
- Peer Modeling
- Token Economy (AKA prizes!)
- And Many More
Who Is The Right Fit For A Social Skills Group?
When it comes to creating a meaningful Social skills group, the BCBA’s at Behavior TLC take great care in placing each individual in a group that will support success. We use many factors such as common interests, current activities, age, grade and most importantly an interview and assessment of skill levels.
Our team of BCBA’s utilize up to date research and assessment tools such as Socially Savvy Assessment & Curriculum Guide and Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS). These functional and play-based assessments are used to better understand where deficits or areas of improvements may lie and drive our choice for groups and for goals to be created (Ellis, J. T., Almeida, C., & Ferrari, N. (2014). Socially savvy: An assessment and curriculum guide for young children. New York, NY: Different Roads to Learning. DRI Books)( Partington, J. W., Mueller, M. M., & Partington, J. W. (2015). The Assessment of functional living skills (The AFLS). Pleasant Hill, CA: Behavior Analysts).
What Is Taught During Social Skills Therapy?
Our social skills group therapy touches on many social, adaptive, vocational and self-help topics. These topics are derived from the research-based curriculum, The PEERS Curriculum. PEERS was created at UCLA by Elizabeth Laugeson, which is a socially validated curriculum for peer-based social groups ( Laugeson, E. A. (2014). The PEERS curriculum for school based professionals: Social skills training for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. New York: Routledge.).
Club TLC also incorporates the teachings of Social Thinking by Dr. Michelle Garcia Winters, a well-known social skills clinician (https://www.socialthinking.com/).
Together these sources compile to make a well-rounded curriculum for all!
Our Topics include:
Introductions (How To Introduce) Eye Contact and Greetings
Trading Information Electronic Communication (varies)
Holidays and Parties (from A-Z) Starting and Joining Conversations
Two Way Conversations (How to Keep it Going) Choosing Appropriate Friends
Navigating Get-Togethers Making Friends in the Community
Sportsmanship Handling Bullying/ Teasing
Changing Reputations Cooking Skills
These are just some of the topics we will cover in our specific social skills unit. Club TLC meets 2x a week for two-hour sessions. One group on Monday/Wednesday and the other on Tuesday/Thursday.
Club TLC also offers more advanced skills in a one on one or small group format as needed for things like: vocational and job needs, College prep and even dating. In fact, one of the Curriculums Club TLC has used for years was recently on a Netflix show Love On the Spectrum. In Episode 3 the characters go to a dating boot camp so to speak, this is partly with the creator of PEERS Dr. Laugeson uses her techniques to help guide and assist in the process. Click here if you would like to watch it!
When Should You Join Club TLC?
Contact one of our office staff or a BCBA directly today to get the process rolling. We have open enrollment periods before the term start date. But, slots often fill up quickly and are limited so get your name on the list as soon as you can to ensure a spot! We have tours of the facility daily and helpful BCBAs to answer all questions! Club TLC accepts most insurance plans as well!
Club TLC is Part of Behavior TLC – An ABA Therapy Clinic with locations in Clear Lake and Cypress, Texas. The clinics are based around full-time day treatment therapy in one-on-one and group settings. In the clinic setting, we offer a full array of services from decreasing severe maladaptive behaviors, speech acquisition, adaptive skills like feeding and toileting, to early learner skills, and more. If you feel that you may be looking for a more encompassing daily treatment approach please feel free to contact one of our team members for a consultation!
Communication During Club TLC
Communication doesn’t end with the kids; your social skill program has to be good at well…. being social. Club TLC likes to show the love through daily progress notes with activities done, things to work on and things that went well, daily homework assignments (for both student and parents), Monthly progress reports or updates and ability to schedule parent meetings weekly to monthly for check in!! These are all aspects that help keep the communication and social loop going therefore what is worked on in social skills can be practiced everywhere daily!