Chatter Program


CHATTER is our most popular group therapy program. This program first began in 2004, to bring children with autism and other diagnoses together with peers in the community to learn social skills.  Each skill is broken down into smaller parts and demonstrated through video modeling and role playing. See CHATTER news for semester schedule. Applicants must be Canadian citizens, landed immigrants and residents of the Province of Alberta.

CHATTER runs in two locations:

South Side:
Terwilliger Recreation Centre, 2051 Leger Rd., Multipurpose Room 3, 4, and 5

North Side:
St. Albert Servus Place, 400 Campbell Road, St. Albert, Morinville Room

Registrants are assigned to a group based on their age and ability. New familes should make an appointment at our clinic for an initial visit to determine which group is most appropriate.

There are three components to this program:

  • A direct program for your child that teaches social skills – the focus is on learning social skills together in a group; practicing it with repetition in the program, and generalizing in the community centre.
  • Parent training – parent training is an important component as we want to make sure that skills will generalize at home each week.  Each session parents will have a group time with the SLP to go over the skill.  Parents use smart phones and other devices to make videotapes which are reviewed in group parent session.
  • Peer component – Peers are trained to work with the children registered in CHATTER.  Children from the community can apply to be a peer

Children learn:

  • how to interact and socialize with unfamiliar people in an inclusive community setting
  • how to recall and retell important events
  • how and when to ask for help,  how to problem solve
  • how to maintain on-topic conversations
  • how to develop a range of interests and expand their interaction skills
  • how to make and accept offers from peers

 Caregivers learn:

  • how to support their children to interact with peers during a community activity
  • how to help their children initiate conversations (e.g. asking for help), and how to fade out their supports over time
  • how to break skills down into smaller parts so they are easier for children to learn
  • how to help their children develop verbal reasoning and problem solving skills

 Registration is only complete with the following items:

  • Parent agreement
  • Registration information – we can input this information directly today
  • Copy of FSCD agreement or addendum