Southern Miss Psychology Center Plans Summer Social Skills Program

Southern Miss Psychology Center Plans Summer Social Skills Program

This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi School Psychology Service Center will launch a new social skills development program this summer for children with autism spectrum disorder and their peers. The program begins June 2 to include sessions from 1-3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for eight weeks.

The program will focus on behavioral and social skills, such as joining in groups and conversations skills, and will include strategies to promote skill use in home and community settings. The program is available for children with an autism spectrum disorder (e.g., Autism, Asperger's, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) and peers. Peers may be typically developing, but may also have social skills deficits.

“Social deficits are a defining characteristic of children with autism spectrum disorder, and result in long-term negative outcomes such as loneliness, isolation, poor educational performance, difficulty with maintaining employment, and mental health issues,” said Dr. Keith Radley, assistant professor in the School Psychology program at Southern Miss. “By providing intervention in social skills, we aim to promote short-term improvements in social functioning, but also prevent the aforementioned long-term negative outcomes.” 

The program is open to children age 5-15. Sessions will be held at the Southern Miss School psychology Service Center/SMART Lab on Owens-McQuagge Hall on the Hattiesburg campus.

For more information, or to register, contact Brandy Lowe at 601.266.5255