The Secret Agent Society (SAS) social skills program upskills and empowers 8 to 12 year olds with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger Syndrome) and the adults who support them. The SAS group program consolidates and extends on the foundation skills taught using the Introductory SAS Resources.
This comprehensive social skills program helps children reach their potential by building their emotional resilience and friendship skills.
The SAS Group Program includes:
- Child Group Meetings
- Parent Group Meetings
- Teacher Tip Sheets
After an initial parent information session to introduce families to the program, parents and children typically attend nine weekly two-hour group meetings and three-month and six-month follow-up sessions. During the first 90 minutes of each group meeting, children learn emotion recognition, emotion regulation and social skills through fun games and activities. Meanwhile, parents discuss amongst themselves the successes and challenges they have faced in supporting their child to use their social skills in real life. For the remaining 30 minutes, children practise their social skills through informal play activities, while parents learn specific ways they can support their child's social skill development.
|Introductory Parent Meeting||Parents are introduced to the content and structure of the Secret Agent Society Program. They are advised how to use a home-school diary to reward children's social skill usage at home and at school, and shown how to play the SAS Computer Game.|
|Group Meeting 1||Children are taught how to introduce themselves to others and choose rewards for friendly behaviour in future group meetings. Children play games that teach them how to detect people's emotions from their facial expression, body posture/movement and voice tone.|
|Group Meeting 2||Children are taught how to identify feelings of anger and anxiety in themselves from internal body clues. Children illustrate the body clues and situations in which they feel mild, moderate and strong levels of anxiety and anger.|
|Group Meeting 3||Children learn about relaxation gadgets to help them feel better, including slow breathing and doing a physical activity to burn up energy while being silently supervised by an adult.|
|Group Meeting 4||Children learn how to use their imagination to relax and review friendship skills. Children are also introduced to a social problem solving formula.|
|Group Meeting 5||Children learn how to start, continue and end conversations with others.|
|Group Meeting 6||Children learn how to play with others in a friendly way and how to cope when they make a mistake.|
|Group Meeting 7||Children play the Challenger Board Game to give them practice at applying their friendship skills to a range of social challenges. Children are taught how to distinguish accidents and jokes from intentionally nasty deeds.|
|Group Meeting 8||Children are taught strategies for coping with bullying and continue playing the board game.|
|Group Meeting 9||Children are taught how to cope with feelings of confusion and play games to review the skills that they have learnt from the program. They problem-solve a social challenge that they are likely to have in the near future.|
|Follow-up Meeting 1||Children review the skills that they have learned in the program and problem-solve future difficulties. They also participate in a self-esteem building activity and celebrate their achievements with a party.|
|Follow-up Meeting 2||Children review program content and develop a plan to cope with a future social problem. Children are presented with graduation medals and certificates.|
*This program format may be adapted by program facilitators as needed.
To help children apply the skills that they learn in the SAS program to real life, they are assigned weekly home missions to complete with the help of their parent and teacher mentors. These home missions involve playing the Secret Agent Society Computer Game, practicing their SAS skills, and documenting how they used their social skills in the computerized Secret Agent Journal.
The skill development of families who enroll in the Secret Agent Society is supported by the SAS Family Kit. This resource provides families with everything they need to participate in the SAS group social skills program and is purchased at the commencement of the program.
For a list of practitioners delivering the program in your local area, please follow the link: SAS Group Program Availability.
To find out what other parents think about the program, please follow the link: Testimonials.