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  • The Help Group’s Kids Like Me Classes Promote Social Skills Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders


THG KLM by Nicole

 

The Help Group’s Kids Like Me programs are specially designed for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental challenges. Kids Like Me provides opportunities for children to have fun, connect with others, learn new skills, make friends and enjoy a sense of belonging. Registration is now open for a variety of winter after-school classes and activities, including social skills groups, the Miracle Project Theater Program, tennis, ballet, karate, chess masters and more. All programs are overseen by highly trained professionals and address specific age and ability levels.

Children on the spectrum can benefit from enjoyable activities that allow them to build their social and communication skills, engage in peer interaction and develop meaningful friendships. Although kids with autism are often hesitant about participating in sports or other new activities, current research has shown that modifying and adapting these activities to address their specific needs can result in more positive social experiences and improve their social skills over time. Improved social skills can in turn lead to higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and a newfound sense of belonging among peers and in their community.

Best of all, these programs allow kids with special needs to just be kids. Children and adolescents can try a new sport, make friends, learn to be a ballerina, put on a play for an audience and so much more in an environment that is supportive and non-judgmental. Every child deserves the opportunity to have fun and enjoy life, especially those who face challenges that many of their peers do not.

Social development and interaction is a vital piece of daily life for many children with autism. Far too often, these children find it difficult to make new friends or maintain the relationships they had when they were younger. The importance of teaching them to learn new skills and engage with peers cannot be stressed enough; it is an essential learning opportunity they can use to develop lasting relationships, improve self-confidence, and take steps toward a successful adult life.

Nicole Webb, MS, is the Program Director of The Help Group’s Kids Like Me and can be reached at nwebb@thehelpgroup.org or 818-778-7136.