Social skills therapy (SST) is designed to teach social skills and improve social competence. It is considered to be the primary form of treatment for children and teens with Asperger’s Disorder. Those who receive SST have a better chance of learning how to have successful social interactions and establish meaningful relationships.
Mental health professionals agree that SST is most successful if it takes place in a group, with peers who have similar social skills deficits. Individual treatment for social skills is not considered an appropriate or effective method. The group setting allows a therapist to observe your child interacting with others and helps him or her provide immediate guidance. It is also the consensus of professionals that SST must be long-term. Because the disorder is lifelong and change is very slow, years of treatment are usually necessary. As with all forms of therapy, the earlier the better.
SST has many benefits over individual therapy for children with Asperger’s Disorder. It is more cost-effective. It provides a nurturing environment to learn and practice social skills. It provides children and teens with a place to belong and feel accepted by peers. This is also a place where they have a good chance of establishing meaningful friendships with the other group members.