Practice and Learn Social Skills (PALSS)

Practice and Learn Social Skills (or PALSS) Club provides children ages 8 - 12 years old an opportunity to learn social skills and practice what they learn in a weekly session led by speech and language pathologist and occupational therapists.  Children will benefit from participating in only PALSS, part two, if they meet the participation criteria and are working toward the objectives below.  Children learn about topics such as active listening, holding conversation with a peer, team work, thinking of others and good sportsmanship.  They are given verbal, auditory and tactile cues to help them understand social actions that they do not naturally know.  Parent participation in weekly meetings is vital to assist in goal achievement in this program.

Who Should Participate?

Children ages 8-12 years old who meet the following criteria:

  • A desire and/or the motivation to make friends.
  • Ability to have a reciprocal conversation with an adult with minimal to moderate assistance.
  • Articulation intelligible enough for others to understand most of the time.
  • Attend and follow three to four step verbal directions.
  • Basic ability to participate in collaborative team activities with peers.
  • Ability to attend to a group activity with minimal “darting” ( visual supports can be used).
  • Spontaneous language (minimal echolalia).
  • Receptive language at the five year old level or above.
  • Some imaginative skills.
  • Parent commitment to follow through and practice skills on a weekly basis.

Program Objectives

  • The child will have an understanding of initiating and maintaining a conversation with others.
  • The child will learn the importance of nonverbal language behaviors (i.e. body talk, facial expressions).
  • The child will expand knowledge of the concepts of teamwork and good sportsmanship within age-appropriate peer activities.
  • The child will apply the concept of “emotional thinking” in order to facilitate the understanding of peer’s perspective on different situations and interactions.
  • Children participating in the program will expand knowledge of strategies to facilitate conflict resolution with the peers and then practice these strategies within structured activities.
  • Additionally, children participating will learn about specific topics such as: personal space, problem-solving, thinking of others (perspective taking) and flexibility in social situations.

Sessions will include a combination of teaching time and activities to practice these skills. 

How Do I Get Started

Getting started is easy! Contact our Intake Coordinator at 630.282.2026 to ask questions or schedule an appointment.

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