Social Learning Program

The Social Learning Program at the Child Study Center offers social skills group therapy services for children as young as 3 through young adults up to age 35.

Groups are appropriate for children and young adults with social communication difficulties related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, depression, or other challenges.

Groups are developmentally appropriate by age. The youngest children learn how to play in groups. Elementary school–aged 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.

Each session includes instruction, modeling, coaching, and ongoing feedback. We use the Children’s Friendship Program for elementary school children and the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills® (PEERS®) for teens and young adults. Participants learn skills through in-group rehearsal and homework, which helps participants gain confidence and solidify their new skills.

Our faculty and staff, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, use evidence-based interventions. Our programs are based on research that shows positive long-term outcomes.

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 to 15 weeks through our Early Childhood Play Group.
  • Elementary school–aged children in kindergarten through fifth grade attend 75-minute sessions for 12 weeks.
  • Teens in middle school and high school attend 90-minute sessions for 14 weeks.
  • Young adults with autism from age 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. Unless noted, no formal diagnosis is necessary to participate in a social skills group.

Minimum requirements include the following:

  • approximately average cognitive and verbal functioning
  • a parent willing and able to participate
  • English language knowledge
  • your child’s expressed interest in making and keeping friends

We ask interested families 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 at our main location in Manhattan, please contact our Social Learning Program intake team at 646-754-5284 or email

To learn more about our social skills group offerings at the Child Study Center—Long Island, please call 516-358-1808 or email