Respons·ability Social Therapy™ (RST)

Groups include those living with Autism as well as individuals who do not have Autism but also struggle with social abilities.

Image by Cody Engel

Background

Created by Dr. Emilio Amigo, the Respons·ability Social Therapy™ (RST) program is designed to specifically address the social deficits for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.  The RST groups aim to improve clients' abilities to initiate, maintain, and sustain social relationships, to develop social-emotional reciprocity, and to enhance the verbal and nonverbal aspects of social engagement.  
There is no wait list for the RST Program.

Group Overview

RST group sizes currently range from 8 to 14 clients per group. Group members are assigned to a group based on age, developmental level, and the degree and types of symptoms.  Therapy groups are developmentally appropriate for individuals 5 years of age through late adulthood. The groups meet weekly with clients continuing as long as they find it helpful.  After-school hours are available.

Interested in learning more about our other services?

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A Supportive Hug

Group Characteristics

  • Our groups provide supervised trial and error learning opportunities for building, maintaining, and sustaining rewarding social relationships through client interaction and therapist intervention.

  • We use Cognitive, Behavioral, Emotional, and Relational treatment approaches allowing our clients a wide variety of developmental opportunities.

  • Groups involve a balance of structured and naturalistic activities that relate to current life situations and difficulties.

  • Therapy makes productive use of creative and engaging activities versus a  manualized protocol (we structure our program around the needs of clients).

  • Groups encourage less social isolation by promoting the sense of "having fun" in a social group of peers.

  • Along with our peer to peer interactions, our groups offer parental and caregiver feedback sessions at the end of each group for a more encompassing understanding of the therapeutic process.

  • As an added bonus, the presence of two Emotional Support Dogs provide an atmosphere of comfort, anxiety reduction, and stimulating common ground for social engagement.

Areas of focus in social development.

  • Joint attention - Activities promote shared attention as all clients are engaged and responding to one another.

  • Emotional regulation - Clients are encouraged and guided through the process of understanding and communicating emotions through problem solving and communication.

  • Emotion sharing - The group process and growth of individuals is expressed through the sharing of emotions and personal experience.

  • Awareness of social norms - Clients are given the opportunity to compare adequate social behavior and accurate communication in social settings.

  • Communication - The group process stimulates active listening and expression through verbal and non-verbal communication.

  • Assertiveness - Group activities and peer interaction cultivate a more competent and confident approach to making social and life decisions.

  • Empathy - A vital aspect of interpersonal relationships is the ability to understand and relate to another's experiences. 

  • Self-control - Clients are provided with the opportunity to understand and develop individual ability to make decisions independent of initial, emotional response.

  • Responsibility - Group activities and interventions guide client acceptance of personal responsibility for behavior and the understanding of possible consequences.

Support Group

To find out more about our groups and to become a part of the AFC​ community: