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How Social Skills Groups Benefit People Who Experience Disabilities

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Moving to San Diego after spending three years in the special education classroom setting on the East coast has been an eye opening experience. Working directly with all the different social groups with Xcite Steps has shown me a new light on social learning in the special education population. Coming from the classroom I heard the need from parents for their children to have friends and to work on their social skills in the community all of the time.

Programs like Xcite Steps did not exist in Maryland where I taught so a lot of people who experienced special needs did not have many options as far as things to do in the community. I have been with Xcite Steps close to three years now and I am so proud to say I am a part of this organization. It is so wonderful to see people who experience special needs have access to a social group with others close to them in age, similiar abilities and working on similar goals. I have seen many different people blossom in these social clubs and truly develop lifelong friendships. Everyone looks forward to attending each event and hanging out with their friends while doing fun activities in the community. All of the activities are things that most people want to attend but do not want to attend alone or with their parents. These social groups are supervised by mentors who are well experienced, young, fun and energetic. Not only do Xcite members get to hang out with other wonderful members but they really look forward to hanging out with our fabulous mentors as well.

Our social groups are unique due to their welcoming, non-judgemental members. I have written many progress reports over the years for the social groups and its so much fun to see everyone’s progress and growth. These groups are very natural and organic because while we are working on certain goals for each person they are having fun and hanging out with friends. Social skills groups are truly beneficial for people who experience disabilities because it gets them out of their house, out of infront of the television and video games. It exposes them to new experiences and to people they may not get the opportunity to meet on a regular day to day basis. It boost their self confidence and helps prepare them for future social interactions.

Working for Xcite Steps and experiencing the benefits of our social clubs is inspiring and I look forward to helping more people reach their goals and make new friends.

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