Social Learning Program

The Social Learning Program at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, offers a wide array of social skills group therapy services for children as young as 3 through young adults up to age 35. Groups are appropriate for individuals with social communication difficulties related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, depression, or other challenges.

Groups are developmentally appropriate for each age group. The youngest children learn how to play in groups. Elementary school children and teens practice face-to-face conversations, make phone calls, plan get-togethers, and learn how to handle rejection. Young adults learn about dealing with rumors and gossip, and practice dating skills, such as how to ask someone out, how to behave on a date, and what behavior is acceptable.

Our clinical faculty and staff use evidence-based interventions. Our programs are based on research that shows positive long-term outcomes. Each session includes instruction, modeling, coaching, and ongoing feedback. We use the Children’s Friendship Program for elementary school children and the PEERS® program for teenagers and young adults. Children, teens, and young adults learn skills through in-group rehearsal and homework. Homework helps participants gain confidence and solidify their new skills.

Social Skills Groups

Social skills groups meet for 12 to 16 weeks in the fall and again in the spring. Each group meets weekly.

  • Preschoolers attend 60-minute sessions for 12-15 weeks through our Early Childhood Play Group 
  • Elementary school children in kindergarten through third grade attend 75-minute sessions for 12 weeks.
  • Elementary school children in fourth and fifth grade attend 75-minute sessions for 14 weeks.
  • Teens in middle school and high school attend 90-minute sessions for 14 weeks.
  • Young adults with autism from 18 to 35 attend 90-minute sessions for 16 weeks.

Parent participation is integral to the program’s success. In separate, concurrent classes, you learn the language and skills being taught to your child—a requirement that not only enables you to help your child with homework, but also gives you the tools to be a social coach long after the program is over.

Evaluation and Consultation

Experts at the Child Study Center perform an initial phone screening of all applicants and then meet with you and your child to determine if your child can benefit from one of our social skills therapy groups. Minimum requirements include approximately average cognitive and verbal functioning; a parent willing to participate; English language knowledge; and your child’s expressed interest in making and keeping friends. Unless noted, no formal diagnosis is necessary to participate in a social skills group.

We also ask interested families participating in these social skills groups if they are willing to share information for research purposes. Our goal is to understand ways that we might continue to improve the groups for all participants. This additional research component is fully voluntary and does not affect eligibility in the social skills groups.

Contact Us

For more information about our social skills group sessions in Manhattan, please contact our Social Learning Program intake team at 646-754-5284 or email csc.sociallearning@nyumc.org.

To learn more about our social skills group offerings at the Child Study Center’s Long Island campus in Lake Success, please call 516-358-1808 or email bonnie.schwartz@nyumc.org.