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Communication and soft skills training for individuals with autism, ADHD, anxiety, co-existing conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities and other social or relationship challenges.

Foundations for Teens & Adults: Communication & Social Relationship Skills

Standard classes run 5 weeks, meeting two times per week for two-hour sessions (may vary based on requests and needs)

Covering key foundational communication and social skills including:

  • Initiating, maintaining, and ending conversations

  • Maintaining two-way conversations

  • Differentiating friend, dating, and work relationships

  • Assessing non-verbal and verbal communication

  • Using electronic communication and social media

  • Maintaining a positive attitude

  • Compromise and conflict resolution

  • Recognizing controversial topics

  • Being flexible

  • Dating basics

  • Bullying, teasing, and embarrassing situations

  • Using humor 

  • Identifying and gaining self-advocacy skills

  • And more...

Enhanced Communication for Teens & Adults: Soft & Social Skills for Employment 

Standard classes run 5 weeks, meeting two times per week for two-hour sessions (may vary based on requests and needs)

  • Foundations for Teens recommended prior to taking this class as prerequisite skills are covered to continue building to more complex skills; exception requests evaluated by Balance MI-Skills 

Covering higher level communication, soft, social skills needed for employment including:

  • Conversations and two-way communication

  • Non-verbal and workplace communication

  • Effective virtual communication

  • Small talk and topic shifts

  • Flexibility in the workplace

  • Dating and relationships

  • Planning, organizing, and time management

  • Solving problems, being proactive, and making mistakes

  • Self monitoring and self-management

  • Teamwork and interacting with co-workers

  • Professionalism and attitude

  • Self-advocacy integrated throughout all sessions

  • Strategies to reduce anxiety

  • And more...

Communication Basics (1, 2, 3) for Teens & Adults: Individuals with More Complex Needs

Standard classes run 5 weeks, meeting two times per week for 1-1/2 hour sessions (may vary based on need of each class); groups progress in content from the first through third classes, with a focus on maintenance and generalization of skills.

Program customization and more intensive supports for interpersonal and work-based communications:

  • Individualization of program targeting needs of each participant

  • Maintain 1 to 2 ratio (instructors to participants)

  • Reduced class size and session length with more in frequency of sessions

  • Repetition and practice of key skills to gain mastery and fluency of skills

  • Class covers:

    • Rules of conversation (customized and scaled to participant ability)

    • Having two-way conversations; entering and exiting conversations; verbal-nonverbal communication

    • Self-monitoring and self-advocacy to promote independent thinking and communication

Individual (one-on-one) Services

The continued goal is to learn and practice in peer-based groups. This helps with learning and generalizing skills and knowledge then applied to personal, community, and work-based settings. Sometimes it may be helpful to start skill building in a one on one (or individualized) setting, with the goal of moving to a group with peers in a workshop. This is not needed for every individual participating, but may be an option to better prepare for a group setting.

KEYS Peer Mentoring Meet-Ups (Keep Empowering Yourself for Success)

A social and peer mentoring community-based opportunity offered monthly for individuals who have completed one of the communication skills groups offered by Balance MI-skills, or taken part in one-on-one sessions. Sessions are held in the community where time is spent engaging in social or recreational activities with group members and similar aged peers. Communication concepts learned in the group training are integrated into the program to increase generalization and self-advocacy where individuals set personal communication goals and practice in natural settings in the community. 

Studying on the Grass
Legs in Jeans
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