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Programs

Autism services target urgent health concern

May 25, 2010

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 1 in 110 children in the U.S. have an autism spectrum disorder - about one percent of the nation's children. While the mysteries surrounding the development and prevalence of the disorder continue, Colorado State University offers social skill groups aimed at teaching children, adolescents, and adults new social skills and a chance to practice them in a group context.

Lee A. Rosén, a professor of psychology and director of the University Psychological Services Center, specializes in autistic spectrum disorders.

Services on campus

The University Psychological Services Center, affiliated with the Department of Psychology, provides social skill groups for children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorders. The center is a community mental health provider offering therapy and psychological evaluations services to members of the Fort Collins community.

Lee A. Rosén, professor of psychology and director of the University Psychological Services Center, specializes in child psychotherapy, disruptive behavior disorders, and autistic spectrum disorders.

Safe and enriching environment

Services are provided by advanced graduate students with doctoral-level training in counseling and psychological evaluation services.

“What I find most fulfilling about leading these groups is seeing the increase in our adolescent member's interpersonal confidence that can take place in a safe and enriching environment,” says Elizabeth Christensen, a current therapist working with adolescents.

“The experiential nature of our group is also unique and is tailored to the needs of adolescents by combining activities in the community, like bowling, with applicable skills building in areas like teamwork and sportsmanship.”

"It is typical for group member to be apprehensive and guarded initially (which is often a defense built up from school bullying) and watching them open up and get excited about forming new friendships is truly amazing. I witnessed one member come in to group, as shy and reserved and leave the group a confident young man, who successfully auditioned and performed harmonica in his school talent show.“

Children’s social skills group

The Children’s Social Skills Group is for kids (grades K-6) who have a hard time interacting with children their own age. Children in the group often have diagnoses such as Asperger’s disorder and high functioning autism.

The social skills groups are aimed at teaching kids new social skills and giving them a chance to practice them in a group context.

Adolescent social skills group

The adolescent social skills group is designed for teens who have a hard time interacting with others their own age. Adolescents in the group often have diagnoses such as Asperger’s and autism.

The goal is to teach teens new social skills and give them a chance to practice them in group. In the past, the groups have focused on things like:

  • conversation skills
  • flexibility
  • friendship skills
  • emotions
  • anger and anxiety management
  • peer conflict management
  • manners
Adult social skills group

The adult social skills group is intended to assist adults in the Fort Collins community who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The purpose of the group is to assist these individuals in developing practical skills for interacting with others.

The adult social skills group typically runs eight weeks in the fall and spring semesters.

Learn more

For additional information or to inquiry about services, call (970) 491-5212 or visit:

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