June 5, 2016

Autism Management & Social Skill Group

Therapy Team: Social Skill Development for People with Social Difficulty, Autism, Asperger’s, and Nerd Personality Features.

NEW TEAM Starting 25 MAR, 6 biweekly meetings on Sundays 215-345PM.


Autism, Asperger's, DBT, CBT, cognitive, behavioral, group, therapy, anxiety, depression, social skills


Figuring out social cues and the feelings of others can be hard for anyone. Figuring out these social signals and ways of acting can be even harder for men who have Autism, Asperger’s and nerd features of personality.  This psychotherapy team is designed to help develop and successfully deal with the stresses of social interactions. 

Different techniques will be used to help develop these skills.  Concepts from the book called Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships’ (Grandin & Barron, 2005) will form the bases of the team approach.  The team is focused on both psycho-education and social skill development/ improvement.

This short-term team is focused on giving you the information and skills you need to succeed!


Session Focuses/Agenda

Session 1

Why be social and reasons to develop social skills and connections?

Rule 1 (R1). Social rules not absolute, they are context based.

Session 2 

General differences in the inductive (emotional) and deductive (Nerd, Autism, Asperger’s) brain and worldview.

R2. Everything is not equally important in grand scheme of things.

Session 3   

Non-verbal cues and behaviors: recognizing and interpreting them.

R3. Everyone in the world makes mistakes. It does not have to ruin your day.

Session 4

How to be polite, get people comfortable with you, and get what you want.

R4. Honesty is different than diplomacy.

R5. Being polite is appropriate in any situation.

Session 5

When being social hurts: dealing with mean people , manipulation and social rejection.

R6. Not everyone who is nice to me is my friend.

R7. People act differently in public and in private.

Session 6

Fitting in and the finer points. How to not  be boring and how to engage others.

R8.  Know when you are turning people off.

R9. “Fitting In” is often tied to looking and sounding like you fit in.

Session 7 (3 weeks later)

How did it go? Finishing up and how to stay motivated (and maybe even a little socializing).

R10. People are responsible for their own behaviors.

Group Make Up

Group Size:

The group will be a closed group with between 4-10 members .  Screened members will join the group on in order when they get all the paper work for the group done and commits to conditions of being in the group. If fewer than 4 people agree to join the group, the group will not take place.

Attendance Expectations

If you join this group it is very important that you can commit to being able to attend all 8 meetings. This is a skill development and psycho-education group so the skills build on each other. Additionally, it is important that the group remains stable to give peer support and feedback to help develop the skills discussed and developed. DBT depends on development of all the skills practiced.

Closed Group

This is a closed group: new group members are not added after the 1st meeting and those who come to the 1st meeting are expected to come to all of them.

Group Member Screening:

All proposed group members will have to have a free screening and orientation in person/phone meeting with a group leader before joining the group. This is to ensure that a person is a good fit for the group and not to waste the time of person  It is also the duty of the group coach to ensure a good group.  A diagnosis of anxiety or depression is not required to become a group member (unless you use insurance, then you will probably have to be diagnosed to get your benefits, but that can be discussed at the screening). Click here for the screening form. 

Group Meeting Place: 

 4041 High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214 (map)

Conveniently located next to the Park of Roses with great parking. On the COTA #2 Bus Line with building very near the N. High and Glenmont bus stop.

About Group Leader Ken Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor

Ken has had experience helping improve social skills and assertiveness in both individual therapy and groups.  He brings many perspectives and fun to group therapy.  Additionally, Ken has run pigs though mazes, took classes in dairy tasting, and has been a consultant in over 300 businesses.  Ken also holds degrees in Animal Science, History, and Animal Welfare/Behavioral Psychology.



  • Self Paying Clients

The total cost for self-paying clients for all 8 sessions is the low price of $350 (less than $30 per hour), and will include book and supplemental materials.

Since there is an expectation that the members of the group are committing to come to all the meetings, you will be charged the full amount whether or not you attend the meetings.  Clients paying in cash or check are expected to pay the full amount before or at the beginning of the 1st meeting.  Clients who put a credit card on file can be charged on every session date ($40). You may be able to use your HSA or FSA to pay for group therapy.

  • Insurance

If you have Aetna, United Healthcare/Optum or Out-of-network insurance benefits, you may be able to use it to pay for the group sessions at the negotiated rate. Additionally, you will be charged $20 for the DBT book out of pocket, which insurance will not pay for. Your copay may be higher than your benefit/out-of-pocket fee, so make sure to find out what your benefits are.

Insurance benefits can be very different from policy to policy, even if policies are provided by the same company. It is the responsibility of the group member to confirm with their insurance company that they have group therapy benefits, what the out of pocket cost per session would be to the member, and if you need per-authorization to use your insurance to join the group.  Again, be aware that if you use your insurance, you are responsible to pay the insurance fees, even if it is more than the self-paying fees.   See the questions to ask your insurance form to assist you when you contact your insurance company to see if you want to use it for group therapy.

If you miss a meeting or stop coming to the group, your insurance cannot be billed.  You will be charged $40 for every meeting that you miss/cannot be billed to your insurance. Those members using insurance to pay for group meetings must have a credit card on file. 


The following forms must be filled out given to the group leader before the first meeting.

  1. Client Information Form 91217 (Fill out the insurance section only if you are using insurance benefits)
  2. Acknowledgment of HIPPA Notice 10.13

At the 1st group meeting, the Group Rules and Leader Disclosure will be gone over.

  1. Team Rules.DBT 10-16-17 (the group leader reserves the right to modify and change the group rules up to the 1st session)
  2. KJ Smith LPC- Team Disclosure and Consent 10-16-17
  3. Authorization for Credit Card Payments

Please make sure to review all the following documentation about your rights and SOPCC policies (you don’t have to print or bring them).

  1. Welcome and Client Rights
  2. Notice of Policies and Practices to Protect Privacy

Please contact Ken via home page contact form or phone to reserve a spot in the group!