The Social Cog is a South Florida based non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 2012 that helps independently functioning individuals with autism and other developmental and social challenges to make and maintain friendships and form community, which serves as the foundation of a satisfying social and emotional life. We provide our Members the three elements that are essential to this process: an accepting peer group, individualized social coaching, and shared social and emotional experiences.
The Social Cog works by bringing independently functioning individuals with autism and other developmental and social challenges together and offering services essential for the formation of lasting relationships. We provide shared social/emotional experiences in the form of fun, interesting monthly outings in the community (i.e. kayaking, bowling, cooking class, etc.) that are designed to allow Members to engage with one another socially and begin to get to know other Members. Each Member is assigned a therapist that acts as a “social coach” who has training in teaching general social skills along with training specific to our program. Members receive weekly coaching sessions that address obstacles that prevent development of relationships. Our goal is to initially provide our Members with an accepting peer group, and then to teach them to engage with their peers and to manage their developing relationships effectively.
The Social Cog provides three specific components (or "Cogs") working in synchronicity in order to help its Members develop and maintain friendships. The Three Cogs are:
- An Accepting Peer Group
- Individualized Social Coaching
- 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
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
- Additionally, some of our more experienced Members serve as mentors for newer Members by helping to welcome and connect them to the group.
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
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.
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