(208) 957-6301



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Effective social skills are essential for success throughout one's life. Being socially savvy often outweighs other practical skills in overall success. At The Children’s Therapy & Learning Center, we realize that social skills do not come easy to all children, but we believe that ALL children have the ability to improve their social competency and can benefit from social skills training.

At The Children’s Therapy & Learning Center, our goal is to maximize children’s social competency by capitalizing on their motivations and strengths. We strive to help each child develop the ultimate self-awareness and recognition of others’ perspectives to know what to do in social situations, and to assure success in making and keeping friends! The focus is not only on teaching or drilling a specific skill. Rather, we teach social thinking through various hands-on learning modalities. As such, children become more aware of their bodies, their environment, and of those around them while incorporating socialization. At The Children’s TLC, we provide a variety of unique opportunities and assorted peer groups to help facilitate social skills and social thinking in children between the ages of 3 and 18 years. Groups offered include:

  • The Buddy Bunch Social Skills Training Groups
  • 1:1 Social Skills Training
  • Facilitated Playdates at the park, schoolyard, child's home, or at The Children’s TLC 
  • Sensory Motor & Core Concepts in Action Groups
  • Sibling Groups (for children with siblings who have special needs)
  • PEERS Teen Social Skills Training Group
  • Social Thinking Groups for 3-18 year-olds

Medicaid Family-Directed Funds may be used for these services. Please contact your Support Broker or Case Manager to arrange funding allocation.

Your Child Can Benefit from Social Skills Training if They:

  • Don't read non-verbal social cues (i.e., body language, facial expressions, etc.)
  • Invade the personal space of others
  • Appear to be left out, are frequently picked last for teams or games, or feel lonely
  • Complain that “nobody likes me” and lack friends of their own age
  • Act overly silly to get attention or shut down in social situations
  • Act shy or have low self confidence
  • Have poor eye contact
  • Have difficulty using an appropriate tone and volume of voice
  • Have difficulties greeting others, initiating, and maintaining conversations
  • Have difficulties expressing opinions and feelings
  • Have difficulties joining in play with peers
  • Have difficulties with joint attention or staying in the game
  • Are impulsive or interrupt others
  • Have difficulties not going first or losing
  • Isolate or withdraw themselves from peers
  • Fail to recognize others’ perspectives
  • Lack imaginative play skills and the ability to sustain play
  • Have difficulty sharing, taking turns, and playing games
  • Have difficulty showing appropriate emotional responses (i.e., laughing at jokes, showing empathy)
  • Have poor problem-solving or conflict resolution skills
  • Have a diagnosis of Autism, Asperger’s, PDD, ADHD, ADD, Auditory Processing or Sensory Integration Disorders, Anxiety, or are Gifted/Talented

Social Thinking Groups

Social Thinking refers to the ability to think about and understand another’s feelings and thoughts. Teaching social thinking is a developmental, behavioral approach that utilizes cognitive behavioral strategies to teach core social thinking concepts. These skills are crucial to one’s participation in any group activity, and for anticipated social behaviors to occur. In other words, one must use “social thinking” in order to exhibit appropriate “social skills.” Often, children with social learning challenges—such as those with Autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD—experience difficulty with learning and demonstrating social thinking skills. At The Children’s TLC, our Social Thinking program helps teach children to understand these skills, while providing them with opportunities to practice social awareness and social decision-making in a fun and nurturing social setting.

PEERS Social Skills Group

PEERS (Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills) Social Skills Training Program is a behavioral and social intervention program focusing on teens between 12 and 18 years of age that are having difficulty making or keeping friends. It is the developmental extension of an evidence-based program known as Children's Friendship Training and was developed at UCLA. It is the only research-based social skills program available for teens that shows evidence of its effectiveness at improving their social skills and friendship making abilities.

Our intervention includes separate parent and teen sessions that meet at the same time over a 14-week period. The program is individualized to meet the needs of each client, parent / caregiver through weekly review of homework, which provides an opportunity to discuss barriers and to help generalize what they are learning into the real world. The teen group focuses on skills like having conversations; entering and exiting conversations; using electronic forms of communication; choosing appropriate friends; handling teasing, bullying, and other forms of social rejection; and having appropriate get-togethers with friends, including how to be a good host and a good sport. By the end of the intervention, teens will learn aforementioned social skills and the parent /caretaker will have received the same information on social skills to help support his or her teen.

Although PEERS was developed for teens with autism spectrum disorders, typically developing teens can also benefit significantly. If understanding basic rules of social etiquette through observation of peer behavior and specific instruction from parents has proved challenging, some teens may require further instruction from a professional.


Kari Thompson, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, CAS, SWC, CLE, CIMI, CID

449 S Fitness Place, Eagle, ID 83616

www.childrenstlc.com • Phone: (208) 957-6301 Fax: 1+(208) 228-0585