Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Adult Developmental Disorders

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Penn Social Learning Disorders Program

Treatment of SLD

Once a client has had a comprehensive evaluation, several treatment options are available through the Adult Social Learning Program:

  • Problem-focused short-term cognitive-behavioral therapy: For clients seeking treatment for specific stressors and/or skill deficits, a ten to twelve week treatment plan targeting mutually agreed upon goals is developed and discussed at the feedback session. Upon completion, new treatment plans to address additional goals may be developed as needed.

  • Medication consultation: Although no medications currently exist to treat the underlying neurobiological causes of social learning disorders, a medication consultation may be recommended for clients who present with significant symptoms of anxiety, depression, mania, agitation, disruptive behaviors, obsessions and compulsions and/or tics.

  • Employment and community-based social coaching: For some clients who present with specific social skill deficits in the workplace or who are in need of assistance managing other social settings, community-based observations and clinician contact with employees and/or other organizational leaders may be available. A behavior plan can then be developed in conjunction with the community setting.

  • Care-giver education and support: For parents and other adults who care for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, "Parenting for Independence" seminars are offered periodically throughout the year to address fears, evolving areas of competence, and strategies for encouraging increased autonomy and community involvement for individuals with social learning disorders.
    Click for program schedule (coming soon)

  • Social skills training: For young adults who can benefit from social skills training in a group setting, a social skills seminar addressing verbal and nonverbal communication, job interview and interpersonal relationship skills is offered three times a year. The course takes place one evening a week for ten weeks and includes didactic instruction, structured interaction activities, role plays, and an individual social coaching component.

    A social skills seminar is also being offered for high school juniors and seniors with social skills difficulties. Sessions focus on understanding and communicating individual strenghts and weaknesses, giving and receiving feedback, recognizing and managing strong feelings in public, mapping out group culture at school and at work, and other related skills.
    Click for program schedule and additional information about these courses

  • Professional Development: For teachers, clinicians, and other professionals working with those with social learning disorders, workshops, consultations, in-service trainings, and supervision may be available upon request.

  • Additional Seminars: Additional topic-focused day-long seminars are offered throughout the year to address sexuality and dating, social anxiety, and other common areas of difficulties for those with social learning disorders.
    Click for program schedule and additional information (coming soon)


For more information about our program, please call our intake coordinator at (215) 573-1159.