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Older Adolescent and Young Adult Social Skills Group


The Older Adolescent and Young Adult Group at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) is a recurring 8-week group-based social skills training program. The group runs once during the Fall (usually October & November), once during the Spring (usually March & April), and once during the summer (usually June & July). The class focuses on social cognition (understanding the intentions of others) and social skills (improving social behaviors) and relies on structured didactics, videos, and role-plays.

The class is open to those with a formal diagnosis that impacts their social abilities (such as an autism spectrum disorder or ADHD) as well as to those simply wishing to improve their social skills. The group is geared towards older teenagers and young adults, and most participants are in high school. Because much of the class relies on back-and-forth between class members, participants must have sufficient verbal skills to be able to participate in a group setting.

The group is co-led by Dr. Dichter and CIDD trainees, and there is are optional research components involving eye tracking and phone-based questions that are collected before and after treatment. All potential patients or caregivers, please contact Twyla Peoples at (919) 843-1529 or twyla.peoples@cidd.unc.edu for more information about scheduling and registration and contact Teresa McCrimmon at teresa.mccrimmon@cidd.unc.edu or (919) 966-4135 for questions about insurance coverage for this group.

Optional Research Component:

We will also have an optional research component available for those enrolled in this social skills group that involves three additional visits to the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. The first visit will last about 3 hours and will take place within two weeks before the first social skills group session, the second visit will last about 2 hours and will take place within two weeks after the last social skills group session, and the final visit will last about 2 hours and will take place approximately 2 months after the last social skills group session. These research visits will involve a diagnostic interview, questionnaires, neuropsychological testing, and a brief eye tracking session. This first visit participants will be compensated $30, and the next two visits participants will be compensated $20 each visit.

Additionally, participants will be asked to complete 8 brief mood checks via a smartphone or computer just following each visit. Participants will also receive $4 for each time he/she completes the mood check (12 times total, across 3 days, per visit). Therefore, participants can earn up to an additional $144 for the mood check across the three time points.

If all portions of testing are completed, participants will earn $214. This compensation will be in the form of a gift card.