Social Skills Groups Adapted from Seeking Safety Model for Adolescents and Young adults with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Diagnoses (CA UCEDD)

Authors: Lina Rodas, Bridgid Mariko Conn, Caitlin S. Sayegh, Sari Glassgold, and Sara Sherer

September 17, 2018

Mental health providers from the University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD) and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine (DAYAM) have adapted Seeking Safety to promote social skills development among adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities (DD) and co-morbid mental health diagnoses. The USC UCEDD is a nationally recognized leader in developing and implementing quality services for infants, children, youth and adults with, or at risk for, behavioral, developmental, physical, and/or special health care needs and their families. The DAYAM is a comprehensive health care program dedicated to the needs of young adults and adolescents, and seeks to advance the health and well-being of adolescents through primary and specialty care, psychosocial support, research projects and advocacy efforts targeting high-risk, underserved adolescents and young adults. Of the 2,572 individuals served by the DAYAM Behavioral Health Program, approximately 12.4% have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder and 3.2% have a diagnosis of an Intellectual Disorder or Borderline Intellectual Functioning. This article describes the rationale for Seeking Safety-based groups for adolescents and young adults with DD and provides information other agencies could use to develop similar social skills groups focused on safe relationships, effective coping, and building relationships with peers.

Read full article.