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Moving Social Skills to Social Competencies: A Strength-Based Approach


For individuals with various neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. autism spectrum disorders (ASD), social communication disorders, etc), the idea of being “social” can either be extremely motivating or  draining, overwhelming, fragmented, and/or depressing. Many individuals who fit into these neurodevelopmental categories struggle with relationship development, understanding social nuances, speaking to a college professor, or staying gainfully employed, yet many have "good social skills.” This presentation will explore why those with good social skills can't translate those abilities into fluid practice and a strength based approach to improving those internal competencies.

About the Presenter(s)

Chris Abildgaard

Chris Abildgaard

Chris Abildgaard NCSP, LPC, NCC has been working with individuals on the autism spectrum since 1999. He is the owner and director of the Social Learning Center, LLC, located in Cheshire, CT. Chris is a nationally certified school psychologist, a nationally certified counselor and a licensed professional counselor with a specialization in autism spectrum disorders. In addition to a master’s degree in school psychology, Chris is a "clinical trainee" in social thinking and has earned a Graduate Certificate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Behavioral Interventions in Autism. As a mental health counselor, Chris’ theoretical orientation is grounded within Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Chris continues to explore methods for integrating CBT with tools to improve one's executive functioning skill sets with the aim at improving one’s overall quality of life.