For most children, basic social skills (e.g., turn-taking, initiating conversation) are acquired quickly and easily. For children with ASD and other developmental disorders, however, social skills often need to be taught explicitly, and not simply by exposure to social situations. Social skills instruction for these children need to be guided in a systematic hierarchy at an early age in order to establish a foundation for them to build upon. Social skills intervention often begins with developing basic turn-taking routines, expanding gestures, and establishing joint attention. Later on, children may engage in activities regarding expressing thoughts and feelings, maintaining conversation, reading social stories, and role-playing.
This direct and specific social skills instruction is currently missing from the variety of therapeutic services offered. Kids Connect develops social skills groups, based not only on diagnosis, but developmental and chronological age as well. Organizing groups this way will ensure the effectiveness of the teaching, as interactions will be presented at their current level of functioning.