Although social workers are known for their work in clinical environments, their training allows them to practice in many other diverse settings, providing services such as mental health diagnostics, individual counseling, and group therapy. These are all services that can be greatly beneficial to those diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and/or various other developmental disabilities. The social work department offers services to our families and students such as advanced therapeutic enrichment in the classroom as a part of the school day, individualized therapy, and family therapy services both in-home or at one of our clinics.
Our social workers lead the social-emotional learning lesson plans and social thinking in all our classes and 1:1 individual therapy services. This effective and therapeutic approach helps clients struggling with social skills by encouraging and teaching them how to consider the thoughts and feelings of others and to be aware of their own actions and behaviors in social situations. Although beneficial to all children, this method is especially helpful to those diagnosed with ASD by building confidence and promoting positive social interactions. With their backgrounds in utilizing Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and the Intentional Relationship Model they are effective and important additions to our team. Play Therapy encourages free and healthy expression, while also increasing respect and empathy. This is an important part of treatment, especially when combined with other therapies such as CBT which teaches one to recognize their thoughts, understand the feelings that go along with them, and recognize and adapt how they affect behavior.
In addition, our social workers, along with developmental therapists, are also the case managers on each client’s therapeutic team. They act as the primary point of contact for families, and they collaborate extensively with each child’s team of providers to create evidence-based and individualized intervention plans.