Life Skills Course – Social & Communication Skills

Social and Communication Skills

Group sessions are based around discussions and activities designed to empower students to use their own knowledge and discover answers for themselves. In a relaxed and nurturing environment, students are encouraged to contribute as little or as much as they feel able to. 

There will be a maximum of 5 students in the group. Each session is three hours split into three sections with two short breaks. This 10-session course runs over 20 weeks, meeting every other week.

Every student on the Life Skills course is offered ten one-to-one’s. These sessions are optional and driven by the student’s desires, covering a range of subjects including identifying anxiety triggers, dealing with conflict, developing relationships, and role playing conversations.

This course focuses on social and communication skills. Topics include conversation skills, body language, communication styles , types of relationships building and managing positive relationships, friendships, and dealing with conflict. For more detailed information on sessions in this course, please download our information leaflet. If you have any questions, please email lifeskills@assertbh.org.uk

About our Life Skills courses 

Reviews from two students who have completed our Life Skills course

“Assert have offered clients on the autistic spectrum the opportunity to participate in one or both of their ‘Life Skills’ courses. There are two of these, one covering general living skills, and one covering ‘Aspie Aspects’ of life. I was fortunate enough to benefit greatly from the second course a couple of years ago, and believed that the first course may have less relevance to my own circumstances. However, on reflection, I realised that the first course would also offer much to help me, as an ‘Aspie’, and so last year I was able to attend that course too. 

The format of six clients and one facilitator from Assert worked very well. It was relaxed, flexible, adaptable and instructive, providing many opportunities for clients to share their experiences and strategies, mixed with wide-ranging tools and information provided in the course handouts. One-to-one sessions were also offered to participating clients where they could address specific issues, revisit areas of the course if needed (or if they had missed a session), and ask for Assert’s help with anything playing on their minds or affecting them at the time.

Assert’s Life Skills Course which I did last year into this year certainly helped me to deal with life’s issues far better than I would have been able to manage on my own. The facilitator (Julia) consistently showed how her wide knowledge, empathy, experience with helping others, and adaptability with approaching understanding and then addressing issues, could help me with a range of tricky matters. Often the most overwhelming problem took on a new look after a one-to-one session to discuss it, and I would leave the meeting feeling energised, invigorated and able to tackle the problem much more straightforwardly, thus lifting a huge weight of worry and stress, with their energy-draining effects, off my shoulders. Sometimes Assert would offer a little direct help to take the edge off the stress of dealing with an issue, but it also seemed to me that they were ‘training’ the client in how to reduce issues to far more manageable proportions, so ways could be sought by the client to deal with issue in their lives.

Trips out, a little social skills practice, some distracting fun activities, and some general ‘bonding’ chat time, were all included, small items in themselves, but over the course these helped build-up confidence and capability in a wide range of skills needed in life – just like it ‘said on the tin’ to coin a common phrase. I will never forget competing with others to build the tallest tower in the room – using only raw spaghetti sticks and marshmallow dollops – now that’s an engineering challenge! Assert’s ‘Life Skills’ courses are directly credited for showing me, and other clients, how to achieve a much more balanced lifestyle, with less stress, less worry and even lowered ‘Aspie Anxiety’, while replacing these with positive outlooks, examples of sorting minor problems, ability to face and deal with bigger issues, and to do so in a friendly, supportive and adaptable form. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to benefit from Assert’s two courses and have no hesitation recommending both Life Skills courses to other clients. Try them, you will feel transformed sharing your path in life with Assert’s facilitators, and I know these courses are highly beneficial to all involved. Thank you Assert, and please continue to provide your excellent courses and support. Makes a huge difference!”

– Will Joyce

“My experience of Life Skills has been positive. The group has been one of the highlights of my week, a place where I feel at home and can talk openly about the things I struggle with. 

I’ve found the course beneficial, although perhaps not primarily for the intended reason. I’m new to the autistic community and in retrospect I didn’t need help in some of the areas covered, but it’s been a great benefit to my mood and mental health in general to share common experiences with the other attendees and I feel less alone as a result. 

My favourite element of the course has been the welcoming and friendly nature of the group. I feel at ease here, which has been wonderful because whilst I crave human contact I often find it very stressful.”

– Anonymous

Some more feedback from students who have completed our Life Skills courses

“Having the space and time to explore this topic with such a skilled facilitator is very helpful. Thanks Julia!” 

“Talking about what upsets me and realising how much I’ve improved over time gave me hope.” 

“Learnt new ideas and perspectives and being asked questions I wouldn’t have asked myself and the emotional advice and support.”

“I have put some of the skills learned during the course into use in real life situations and have been pleased to see that they really work.”

“It’s through coming to these courses that has made me feel more confident.”

– All Anonymous