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 RST groups aim to improve the 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.  Groups may also include those who do not have an ASD diagnosis but still struggle with these social abilities.


Currently, Dr. Amigo directly facilitates 18 different RST groups each week assisted by two to four Group Aides per group.  Group sizes range from 5 to 20 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.

There is no wait list for the RST Program.  


the CHARACTERISTICS of rst groups:

  • Provide supervised trial and error learning opportunities for building, maintaining, and sustaining rewarding relationships

  • Utilize Cognitive, Behavioral, Emotional, and Relational treatment approaches

  • Involves a balance of structured and naturalistic activities

  • Makes use of creative and engaging activities versus a manualized protocol

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

  • Includes parent/caregiver feedback time at the end of each session as appropriate

  • Presence of two Emotional Support Dogs to provide anxiety reduction and facilitate social engagement

RST GROUPS DEVELOP a broad range of social abilties:

  • Joint attention

  • Emotional regulation

  • Emotion-sharing

  • Awareness of social norms/conventions

  • Communication

  • Assertiveness

  • Empathy

  • Self-control

  • Responsibility