B.E.S.T. Friends Social Group

Service Code: 605
Vendor Number: PJ3242

B.E.S.T. FriendsThe B.E.S.T. Friends model represents a small ratio approach with same age typical peers, trained to facilitate interaction between the child and their peers. This peer-mediated approach has been detailed in the scientific literature as the most robust intervention to teach socially appropriate behaviors to children on the autism spectrum.

It is the ultimate goal of B.E.S.T. Friends to provide an environment in which children on the autism spectrum can comfortably learn the skills necessary to become part of a typical social group, as supports are faded.

Each child is paired with two typical peers that have received instruction in facilitating social interactions. This small group of three children receives the support of a trained social facilitator. Daily data collection towards each child’s goals is collected each session.

Data analysis is completed by the Program Supervisor and reported on a semi-annual basis. Each child’s progress towards the program goals is reviewed every six months.

The physical location of this program is the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Springs. This allows for a naturally occurring social group in a community based after school program. Program hours are 3:30pm-5:30pm. The number of hours that each child attends is determined as part of the assessment process. B.E.S.T. Friends is a partnership between the Boys and Girls Club and B.E.S.T Services, Inc. to provide opportunities for social experience and growth for children on the autism spectrum.