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What is the GoriLLA Group?

The Chapel Hill TEACCH Center is offering a group intervention model for autistic children and their parents. The “Growing, Learning, and Living with Autism” group sessions are intended for students who are primarily included in regular education in their school and have appropriate reading skills for their grade level. Students will be grouped by grade level: 1st to 2nd grade, 3rd to 5th grades, or Middle School students. There will be up to a total of 5 children per group and at least one parent is required to attend each time.

The program will consist of 10-12 weekly sessions

First, an individual informal assessment will be scheduled. An Autism Specialist will work with the child to determine the learning style strengths and challenges, as well as assess group readiness. The Autism Specialist will also talk with the parent(s) to discuss concerns and goals for intervention sessions. After this appointment, the autism specialist will determine if individual or group therapy is appropriate.

The child and accompanying parent(s) will attend approximately 10 group therapy sessions. The group sessions are a mix of large group activities (parents and children together) and small group activities in which the children will work with one Autism Specialist while the parents work with another. The curriculum includes activities from Social Thinking ™ and the use of Structured TEACCHing.

Topics covered will and activities related to the child’s individualized goals as well as the following topics:

  • Daily Living Skills
  • Emotional Understanding
  • Self Regulation
  • Expected and Unexpected Behaviors
  • Conversational Skills
  • Thinking about Myself and Thinking about Others
  • Understanding Friends

Finally, a post-assessment will be scheduled after you and your child complete the group sessions. This is a time for an Autism Specialist to assess the knowledge and skills you and your child have gained, as well as discuss further services and resources.

If you are interested in learning if your child may be eligible for group therapy sessions, contact the Chapel Hill TEACCH Center via email or call 919-966-5156.

Our clinical services are provided as part of the UNC Health Care system’s UNC Faculty Physicians group. We currently accept the same insurance providers as UNC Health Care. For a complete list click here.