Helping Youth Become Better Social Thinkers

It’s Joe’s first day at his community based internship as the new “fish guy” with his neighborhood fish market. As a 16 year old experiencing independence for the first time, he is nervous and excited, but most of all wants to “hit it out of the park” in making his first day a success! His Equinox Therapeutic Coach reviews his Social Thinking skills® gives him words of encouragement, and Joe is ready to go. He says to himself as he opens the door, “It’s time to think with my eyes.” He surveys his new environment and notices welcoming social cues from his new boss such as waving, smiling, and a friendly “come on in Joe!”; in turn, Joe responds with a big smile and a confident “hello!” He is off to a great start!

Joe is a young man living with High Functioning Autism and as a result has many social limitations and challenges interacting with others.  As a social thinker, he has learned adaptive skills to increase his ability to confidently engage with others and increase his independence out and away from his parents. Every interaction he has at Equinox and with his family focuses on helping Joe read social cues accurately, practice expected responses or behavior, and learn the impact of unexpected behaviors/responses.  He has worked with his Equinox Therapeutic Coach in a variety of community activities to rehearse these skills while experiencing the positive results of how other people respond to his communication and interactions.

We interweave concepts, such as Social Thinking developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, into the Equinox Intensive Outpatient Program and Therapeutic Social Skills Group. This is only one of the many valuable ways we enhance relationships, friendships, independence, and confidence in our youth living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other social/learning differences.  Learn more about our programs here.