Respons∙ability Social Therapy™ Program



Created by Dr. Emilio Amigo, the Respons·ability Social Therapy™ (RST) program is designed to specifically address the social deficits for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.  The purpose is to improve the clients' ability to initiate, maintain, and sustain social relationships, to develop social-emotional reciprocity abilities, and to enhance the verbal and nonverbal communication aspects of social engagement.  Groups may also include those who do not have an ASD diagnosis but still struggle with these social abilities.

Currently, Dr. Amigo directly facilitates 17 different RST groups each week assisted by two or three Group Aides per group.  Group members are assigned to a group based on age, developmental level, and the degree and types of symptoms.  Therapy groups are developmentally appropriate for individuals 4 years of age through adulthood, are ongoing throughout the year, and are ongoing throughout each client's lifetime as indicated.  Groups range from 5 to 12 clients per group.

There is no wait list for the RST Program.  Sessions occur weekly and after-school hours are available. 

RST Groups Develop:

  • Social ability in real life situations.

  • The use of joint attention.

  • Emotional regulation.

  • Coping skills during fluid social interaction.

  • Emotion-sharing experiences.

  • The understanding of social conventions.

  • The sense of “having fun” in a social group of peers.

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RST Groups Characteristics:

  • Supervised trial and error for learning.

  • Uses Cognitive, Behavioral, Emotional, and Relational treatment approaches.

  • Balanced structured and naturalistic activities.

  • Creative and engaging activities with new group activities each week.

  • Rewarding relationship experiences.

  • Parent inclusion in treatment, including weekly updates and programming inclusion.

  • Supplemental and concurrent individual therapy is available.

  • Two Emotional Support Dogs are present in all Groups to provide anxiety reduction and to facilitate social engagement.