Social Skills Training For Youth With Disabilities

November 20, 2010

Wednesday, November 17th saw Tomorrow’s Voices Autism Centre strengthen the skills and knowledge of teachers, para-professionals, learning supports, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and parents when it held its fourth workshop in its year-long Training Institute entitled “Social Skills Training For Youth With Disabilities”.

The 2-hour workshop approved by the Bermuda Educator’s Council for professional development credits was held at the Bermuda College and saw over 40 eager persons participate.

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Dr. Kimberly Mills, Director of Tomorrow’s Voices stated that “The development of an effective social skill repertoire is a critical skill for youth with disabilities to possess. When youth with disabilities have an effective social skill inventory the result is improved learning and meaningful relationships with those in their peer groups, families and the larger community.” A lack of effective social skills often results in loneliness, depression and isolation and can manifest itself in an array of behaviours.

The course highlighted the scholarly research related to social skill deficits and more importantly, provided educators, parents and other allied health professionals the tools they needed to develop social skill interventions in their own homes and classrooms.

One session attendee felt the seminar offered “Practical ideas that can be used in the classroom setting.” Another commented with “I will use it with all my students whether they are disabled or not.”

Tomorrow’s Voices is an early intervention centre for children with cognitive, neurological, and behavioural disorders including Autism and Developmental Delays. The centre has received numerous requests by parents, educators, and other professionals to assist with the social skill development of their youth. In response to these continued requests from the Bermuda community, Tomorrow’s Voices has developed a Saturday Social Skills Group to enhance the social skill, vocational, and functional life skill development of youth with disabilities in Bermuda.

The Saturday Social Skills Group will launch in January 2011 and will take place on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. The group sessions, open to young people between the ages of 6 and 17, will offer 4 hours of active social skills instruction and activities aimed to stimulate and to teach for a nominal fee. Parents will be able to feel comfortable leaving their child, who happens to have a disability, in the hands of well-trained, competent, and compassionate professionals. As one of the main principles of the Social Skills Group is that of inclusiveness, young people who do not have a disability are also encouraged to participate. This will promote further socialisation and understanding across the board.

If you are interested in enrolling your child into the Saturday Social Skills Group, please contact Dr. Kimberly Mills at or 297 4342.

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