Respons·ability Social Therapy™ (RST)

Build Friendship, Develop Self.


Respons∙ability Social Therapy™ Program Overview

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 purpose is to improve the clients' ability to initiate, maintain, and sustain social relationships, to develop social-emotional reciprocity abilities, and to enhance the verbal and nonverbal communication aspects of social engagement.  Groups may also include those who do not have an ASD diagnosis but still struggle with these social abilities.


Currently, Dr. Amigo directly facilitates 17 different RST groups each week assisted by two to four Group Aides 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 4 years of age through adulthood, are ongoing throughout the year, and are ongoing throughout each client's lifetime as indicated.  Groups range from 5 to 14 clients per group.

There is no wait list for the RST Program.  

Sessions occur weekly and after-school hours are available.


the CHARACTERISTICS of rst groups:

  • Provide supervised trial and error for learning.

  • Apply Cognitive, Behavioral, Emotional, and Relational treatment approaches.

  • Incorporate balance structured and naturalistic activities.

  • Employ creative, engaging and evolving activities.

  • Permit parent inclusion in treatment updates and programming

  • Offer concurrent individual therapy.

  • Include two Emotional Support Dogs who are present in all Groups to provide anxiety reduction and to facilitate social engagement.

RST GROUPS DEVELOP these skills:

  • Social ability in real life situations.

  • The use of joint attention.

  • Emotional regulation.

  • Coping skills during fluid social interaction.

  • Emotion-sharing experiences.

  • The understanding of social conventions.

  • The sense of “having fun” in a social group of peers.

  • Building, maintaining, and sustaining rewarding relationships