Social skills groups are one often very effective in improving challenging social behaviors.
The GOALS Group (Growth Opportunities for Achieving Life Success) is a social skills group targeted at children between the ages of 5 and 14. It is a group built upon the idea that children learn social skills more quickly from
real-life interactions with their peers than from lessons and lectures from adults. In the
context of the group, kids learn to handle frustrating situations, resolve conflicts, cooperate
and become more thoughtful with their peers, control anger, and stand up for themselves
while all the while making new friends.
Appropriate children for the GOALS group are those who would benefit from increased
social awareness, anger management skills, overcoming shyness and increasing assertiveness. The groups serve children who are generally high functioning. Diagnoses
such as ADHD, high functioning autism or Asperger's disorder, oppositional defiant
disorder, and social anxiety are commonly found in the groups, but so are children who
have no diagnosis but who could use a little social fine-tuning.
There are currently several different GOALS groups conducted weekly that accommodate
both younger and older children.