Speech & Socialization

By: Family Linkages  09-12-2011
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Autism Spectrum, Autism Services

Friendship Builders

 Friendship Builders is designed to teach specific social skills to children by using structured learning opportunities that include social stories, cognitive picture rehearsal, modeling, role playing and video vignettes.
Key target areas include:
• Conversational Skills (Personal space, listening during a conversation, staying on topic, using “Excuse me,” giving a compliment)
• Cooperative Play Skills (Asking someone to play, joining a group, sharing, dealing with losing/winning, turn taking)
• Self-Regulation (Recognizing feelings and dealing with a mistake)
• Empathy (Showing understanding for other feelings)
• Conflict Management (Accepting no for an answer, asserting yourself)

Friendship builders is for children age 7 years to 11 years diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder who require additional support and instruction to develop key social skills required in initiating and maintaining peer friendships. Child must be able to engage in verbal communication as a primary means to socially interact with peers.

Led by Registered Psychologist, Billie-Jo Arsenault, M. Ed.

When: Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (9 Week Program)
Sept. 24 –Dec. 3
Note: There will be no sessions on Oct. 8 or Nov. 12
Location: Centre for Autism Services
4752-99 St.
Contact: Gail Stanford, Groups Consultant
780-488-6600 ext. 216
[email protected]

PEERS Program for Youth Grade 7 - 12

This innovative evidence-based program (PEERS - Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills) is designed for teenagers who are having difficulty making or keeping friends. Previous research has resulted in very positive outcomes for PEERS. A research project led by Dr. Veronica Smith aims to replicate previous findings. The 12-week PEERS program targets key areas to assist teens with ASD and requires parent involvement to ensure that the skills are being successfully adapted through “homework.” The program features separate parent and teen sessions. Skill development includes entering and exiting conversations, choosing appropriate friends, handling teasing, dealing with bullying and how to use electronic communication appropriately.
NOTE: The program is designed for higher functioning teens. An initial screening assessment will be conducted to ensure appropriateness of application.


This therapeutic program is designed for parents of children aged five and younger who have been diagnosed with autism. More Than Words is a 12-week evidence-based program that teaches the fundamentals of language development and teaches parents how to apply the lessons to increase their child’s understanding and usage of language. This program also provides parents with tools and strategies to help a child reach his or her communication potential.

All sessions are from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Session 1
January 11 – orientation
January 16-27 – pre-program video consultation
February 1 – session 1
February 8 – session 2
February 13 – 17 – in-home video feedback session
February 22 – session 3
February 29 – session 4
March 5 – 9 – in-home video feedback session
March 14 – session 5
March 21 – session 6
March 28 – session 7
April 2- 13 - in-home video feedback session
April 18 – session 8

Session 2
May 2 – orientation
May 7-18 pre-program video consultation
May 23 – session 1
May 30 – session 2
June 4-8 - in-home video feedback session
June 13 – session 3
June 20 – session 4
end of first module of 2-module program. To resume in September 2012


Keywords: Autism Services, Autism Spectrum, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Centre For Autism

Other products and services from Family Linkages


Therapeutic Groups

As a large facility with multiple treatment rooms, the Centre for Autism Services Alberta has developed a large number of centre-based groups that are offered at various times throughout the year. Qualification for groups and summer camp are determined on an individual basis, dependent on the child’s needs, and available funding and resources.


Pivotal Response Treatment

PRT is effective in all of the child’s environments and versatile enough to use at home, in clinical settings, in an inclusive classroom, and in the community, and parents can easily start folding PRT strategies into the child's established routine right away” (Robert Koegel, co-developer of PRT.


Infant Toddler Program

A comprehensive service plan is created with specfic goals and objectives in the five developmental domains identified in the FSCD legislation: behavior, communication and socilzation, cognitive, fine motor and gross motor, self help and adaptive; as well as a family generalization plan.


PUF Program (Alberta Education

Program Unit Funding is provided by Alberta Education for children who have been diagnosed with a severe disability and who require additional support and services beyond those that are in place in the Early Childhood Services program. The Centre for Autism Services Alberta is an approved PUF provider and can provide a school placement, multidisciplinary team, and aide support for the child in a community classroom.


Specialized Services

The Centre offers an intensive "Specialized Services" intervention program for those children who meet the criteria as defined in the Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act and have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This program can include aide supports, speech-language services, occupational therapy services, behavioural consultation, psychology assessment/consultation, physiotherapy services and case management services.


Adaptive Functioning Groups

Identify additional strategies for coping and managing strong emotions (eg - safe place visualization, asking an adult for help, positive self-talk and positive thoughts. This group is for children 6 to 11 years of age who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and struggle to express their feelings in safe and appropriate ways.