children in autism therapy outdoors

Social language opportunities within a group setting allow kids ages 6-14 to focus on any functional needs, such as conversation skills, understanding and building relationships, self-advocacy, perspective-taking and navigating social issues. Individualized instructional and practice opportunities are based on each person’s priorities and needs. Graduate student clinicians, supervised by licensed speech-language pathologists, plan and conduct the Social Climbers sessions.

Using concepts from the Social Thinking® and PEERS® curricula, participants are grouped by age and current social communication skill level. Spots are limited, and children are chosen based on fit with other group participants. Groups are formed loosely along the following age guidelines: 6-9 years, 10-13 years, and 14-17 years. Parent participation may be required dependent on the age range and curriculum of the group.

Read more about Social Thinking Methodology (developed by Michelle Garcia Winner: and PEERS (

Social Climbers meet Mondays and Wednesday in June and July. Read more about our summer program, with instructions for registration.

In the fall and spring, we hold monthly support groups for participants to come and socialize with one another.

Clinical Coordinators

Jennifer Brodell, M.A., CCC-SLP
Clinical Assistant Professor

Nancy Almasi, SLP.D., CCC-SLP
Visiting Assistant Professor