I just wanted to wave a flag alongside Rachel with my own experience of social advocacy, rather than social skills training. I am currently running girls’ groups for a local charity. All the participants are neurodivergent (with diagnoses of ASC, ADHD and/or tourettes, all of them experience anxiety). For the last group we ran, the key feedback we got from the girls was that they loved ‘being with people who understand’. We don’t teach social skills, we provide a space for them to be social, and every week they show us how social and supportive of each other they are. They ask about how friendship issues in school are working out, share common interests with equal enthusiasm, and advocate for themselves by taking movement breaks (often together) and explaining to us that their ‘social battery is a bit low today’. I see the same outcomes that Spectrum Gaming has and, as a therapist, I feel much more comfortable supporting them to develop their self-esteem and confidence about who they are, which in turn supports their social confidence and engagement.
(Btw, Spectrum Gaming is fantastic. They have loads of great videos. My favourite is ‘Do you suffer from Neurotypical Disorder?’)