Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

Coronavirus Update: What patients and families need to know

Executive Function and Social Skills Groups

Join us for our executive function and social skills groups for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the Children's National Montgomery County, 15245 Shady Grove Road, Suite 350, Rockville, Md., 20850.

Registration for the following group is now open:

Registration from the following groups is currently closed. Registration will open in the Summer of 2020.

Flexibility and Friendship

Targets: Social skills and flexibility in young children, ages 4-5, with ASD through a play-based and story-based curriculum
Best for: Kids with ASD who can answer direct questions about things that happened to them at another time
Led by: A clinical psychologist and a speech/language pathologist with expertise in executive functioning and social communication in ASD
Registration: Registration for 2019 has closed. We will begin taking registrations again starting in summer 2020.

Children learn:

  • How to play games and pretend together
  • How to change their play plans when needed
  • Coping skills
  • Sharing and taking turns
  • Early conversation skills

In their own group, parents receive coaching on:

  • How to support kids in using their new skills at home
  • Strategies for young children with ASD on a variety of topics, such as picky eating, planning play dates and school supports

For more info: Email Allison Ratto, Ph.D., with the subject line "Flexibility and Friendship Group."

Unstuck and On Target

Targets: Elementary school students, ages 8-10, with ASD foundational executive function concepts and skills
Best for: Students with average or above average cognitive abilities
Led by: A clinical psychology fellow and a speech/language pathologist with expertise in executive functioning and social communication in ASD

Children learn:

  • Social skills that emphasize the importance of flexibility and compromise in creating positive interactions with peers
  • Flexible planning
  • Problem solving
  • Coping skills

For more info: Email Allison Ratto, Ph.D., with the subject line "Unstuck and On Target Group."

On Target for Life

Targets: Middle school students with ASD, ages 11-13 or in grades 6-8, focusing on how to improve executive function skills such as flexible problem-solving, planning and organization
Best for: Students with average or above average cognitive abilities
Led by: A clinical psychology fellow with expertise in executive functioning and emotional issues in ASD

Children learn:

  • How flexibility and polite interactions are tied to gaining social power with others, which helps them achieve their goals
  • How to work together to create a long-term plan for a group goal

For more info: Email Serene Habayeb, Ph.D., with the subject line "On Target for Life Group."

Flexible Futures

Targets: Diploma-track students, ages 16-19, focuses on improving executive function skills such as flexible problem-solving and independent goal setting, planning and organization
Best for: Students with average or above average cognitive abilities
Led by: A clinical psychologist with expertise in adolescence and adulthood transition issues in ASD

Children learn:

  • Neurodiversity
  • Self-advocacy
  • Sustained motivation for long-term goals
  • Handling stress
  • Creating a positive reputation
  • Skills in compromising
  • How to select a goal important to the group and work on achieving their goal for the duration of the sessions 

For more info: Email Cara Pugliese, Ph.D., with the subject line "Flexible Futures Group." View course flyer.