Social Skills Groups

Challenges with social interactions is one of the core deficits of autism and ABA learning centre offers a variety of social skills groups to help children overcome this challenge. Through the use of resources developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, Carol Grey, Tony Attwood, Kari Dunn-Buron and others we work to teach social skills in a fun, play-based environment.

With school age children we work on developing joint attention, turn taking, and emotion recognition in themselves and others. Participants learn how to play games that they will encounter on the playground, which will help them to engage with their peers. We also discuss and act out common social situations so that children learn to have the appropriate reaction based on the situation they are in. Peer relationships are encouraged; participants learn information about other children in the group and strategies for how to start, maintain and end a conversation are taught and practiced with the group. By developing the above skills and many others we strive to help children be successful in social situations in their everyday activities. All of these skills are taught using effective teaching strategies and the analysis of verbal behavior.

ABA Learning Centre Offers:

  • Social skills groups with same age peers (ASD and typical)
  • Play groups with same age peers
  • GRASP – acting group for adolescents
  • Summer Jamboree – functional life skills and social skills in the community

Playgroup activities will include:

  • Individual NET lesson activities
  • Active games to develop peer interaction, language, and gross motor skills
  • Interactive/board games to develop peers interaction and language skills
  • Songs and motion activities to develop imitation and language skills
  • Arts and crafts to develop fine motor and academic skills
  • Concept games to develop language
  • Play stations to develop cooperative play and language skills (video modeling will be used as one of the teaching techniques)

Analysis of Verbal Behavior and effective teaching techniques will be used throughout each playgroup session. Playgroup lesson objectives are based on the Assessment of Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS)

We are accepting applications for the following Social Skills Groups:


AGE: Grades 7 to 12
DATE: Thursdays; September 3rd to December 3rd, 2015 (14 weeks)
TIME: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
LOCATION: 100-2250 Boundary Road, Burnaby, BC V5M 3Z3

PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) is a 14-week social skills program that teaches middle and high school students (grades 7-12), with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, to make and keep friends.

Created by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson and her colleagues at UCLA, the PEERS program is the only evidence-based social skills intervention for adolescents and young adults that has resulted in
significant gains in knowledge and use of social skills.

PEERS is taught in weekly, small-group settings, using techniques including didactic instruction, modeling, coaching, behavioural rehearsal, performance feedback and weekly homework assignments supported by parents/caregivers.

Parents: We want you, too!

Parent participation is a vital component of the PEERS model. There is a weekly parent group, run by a trained facilitator, in which caregivers learn to be effective social coaches for their child. This group runs at the same time as the teen session. Additionally, parents will help their child complete weekly assignments (e.g., phoning a friend, hosting a get-together, etc.).

Program topics include how to:

  • Use appropriate conversation skills
  • Find common interests by trading information
  • Appropriately use humour
  • Enter and exit conversations between peers
  • Handle rejection, teasing and bullying
  • Be a good host during get-togethers
  • Make phone calls to friends
  • Choose appropriate friends
  • Be a good sport
  • Handle arguments and disagreements
  • Change a bad reputation

COST: $1,600.00 (for all 14 sessions)

Join us for our OPEN HOUSE to learn more about PEERS. Bring your teen along. There will be food, games, and a short presentation about our program: The OPEN HOUSE dates are:

  • Tuesday, July 7th from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
  • Tuesday, August 4th from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM 

For more information or to request an intake package, please contact Bernardus Larryant, one of our PEERS certified instructors, at or call 604-232-4122



AGE: Grade 2 to 6
DATE: Tuesdays; starting September 22, 2015 for 12 weeks
TIME: 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
LOCATION: 100-2250 Boundary Road, Burnaby, BC  V5M 3Z3

Children’s Friendship Training is a social skills program for children in Grades 2 – 6, who have a hard time developing and maintaining friendships. This program sets itself apart from other social programs by including and empowering parents through the teaching process. During 1-hour sessions, it covers topics that will help children make and keep friends by teaching concrete skills with specific steps.

Skills taught include:

  • Conversational skills like “slipping in”
  • Being a good sport
  • Being a play date host
  • Making a best friend
  • Taking “no” for an answer
  • Resisting teasing

During concurrent sessions, parents are taught to be effective social coaches for their children, so these skills can be encouraged well beyond the 11-week program.

COST: $900.00 (for all 12 sessions)

For more information or to schedule an intake meeting, please contact Sylvia Hunter at or call 604-232-4122.



AGE: 4 to 6 years old
DATE: Saturdays; starting April 18, 2015 for 8 weeks (No session on May 16)
TIME: 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
LOCATION: 8874 Hudson Street, Vancouver, BC V6P 4N2

This social group is aimed at teaching introductory social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Curriculum is based in part on work by Michelle Garcia Winner (Social Thinking) and will cover topics including:

  • Learning How to be Part of a Group
  • Teaching Eye Gaze through Social Thinking
  • Recognizing Emotions
  • Practicing Relaxation Skills
  • Turn Taking and Being a Good Sport
  • Initiating Conversation and Learning about Friends

Pre-requisite skills for this program include an ability to communicate verbally using simple sentences, and to participate in a group program without challenging behaviour that would require individual adult support.

COST: $520.00 (for all eight sessions)

For more information or to schedule an intake meeting, please contact Sarah Gentile at or call 604-232-4122.