The Social Cog is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization created to address a previously unmet need for independently functioning adults with developmental and learning disabilities. The Social Cog creates connections and community for the participants.
How does The Social Cog work?
For independently functioning adults with autism and other developmental challenges, making and maintaining friendships can be a very frustrating experience that is frequently fraught with failure and rejection. They often possess some of the elements that are needed to make friends and can get "so close," but are missing key social competencies and opportunities necessary to achieve social success.
The Social Cog bridges these gaps by providing three specific components (or "Cogs") working in synchronicity in order to help its Members develop and maintain friendships. The Three Cogs are:
1) An Accepting Peer Group
2) Individualized Social Coaching
3) Shared Social and Emotional Experiences.
Providing any of these three elements alone is helpful to the individual affected with autism, but the presence of all three working together is the recipe that has led to the success that Members of The Social Cog enjoy.
Accepting Peer Group
The Social Cog is comprised of adults who have expressed a desire to meet like-minded peers with whom to develop friendships. This means that our Members can be assured that every person they meet in The Social Cog shares a similar goal: making friends and enriching their social life. It is a very welcoming group that is comprised of individuals with a variety of interests and personality styles, and we work hard as a team to help our Members connect with each other based on specific interests, characteristics, and needs. Additionally, some of our more experienced Members serve as mentors for newer Members by helping to welcome and connect them to the group.
Individualized Social Coaching
Coaching is an integral part of The Social Cog. Our Coaches are trained clinicians who work closely with each Member to set social goals and facilitate the development and maintenance of friendships with other Members. Additionally, Coaches help Members to identify and overcome any specific challenges they may face that interfere with these goals; social anxiety, deficits in social skills, unrealistic/rigid expectations, and distortions in social thinking and perceptions, to name a few.
Shared Social and Emotional Experiences
Sharing social and emotional experiences with others helps us develop meaningful connections that help build satisfying relationships. The Social Cog provides its Members shared experiences through its Outings, which are fun, socially interactive activities that the entire group attends each month. Our Coaches and Clinical Director attend all Outings in order to provide support, guidance, and encouragement to our Members during the activity.