Chatter Social Skills Program

Chatter Program™ is a community based social skills program for children and teens. A specific diagnosis is not required to enter. Chatter is a supportive program for neurodivergent and neurotypical people in the community.

Date Ongoing
Intended For Children & Teens
Location In-person North and South Edmonton
Program FeesContact our office

What is the Chatter Program™ ?

There are three components to all Chatter groups:

  1. A community group program that is led by a speech- language pathologist, where lesson plans are carefully designed for the needs and ages of the participants.

  2. A series of parent meetings scheduled through the semester to inform families of the goals of their child's groups and how theories and strategies are applied to social skills.

  3. Training for volunteer peer mentors who model skills and create valuable opportunities for participants to practice and generalize their learning.

Chatter A (5-8 year olds)

Program for young children 5 to 8 years of age, to develop joint attention, symbolic play, social referencing and expressive language skills.

Chatter B (elementary-aged children)

Program for elementary aged children to develop an increased awareness of friends in the same space, perspective taking, emotions, problem solving, conversational & executive functioning skills.

Chatter C (Junior High and Teens)

This is a program for adolescents and teens to learn conversation skills, friendship skills, repairing interactions, reading nonverbal cues, self-advocacy, identifying other people’s intentions and expectations, and managing the unexpected.

What approach does Chatter use to target social skills?

Chatter is based on clinical research by Carol Westby’s Social Neuroscience and Theory of Mind. Each group facilitates friendships between the registrants and the peer mentors, as these relationships are foundational for social skill development. Through Chatter, our volunteers learn what they can do to develop positive social relationships with individuals with disabilities in the program, and also in their schools and communities. Chatter is a mutual learning experience. Our volunteers receive education on neurodiversity, social communication, and learning how they can play a meaningful part in creating a more inclusive society. The best of our community comes together each week to create a supportive environment for children and teens to learn.

Where are Chatter groups located?

Wednesday evenings: St. Albert Servus Place, St. Albert, Alberta

Thursdays evenings: Terwilleger Recreation Center, Edmonton, Alberta

Online options: contact our email

How do I access the program?

  1. Complete the Chatter Intake form.

  2. If FSCD applies, families must ask their case workers to send a referral to our agency.

  3. The Chatter Program coordinator will schedule an in person consultation to meet you and your child, and to determine whether the program will meet your needs.

  4. Parents can pay for the program or obtain a funding addendum from FSCD.

  5. Funding addendums must be completed and submitted prior to entering the program.

Khan Team Spotlight

Annika Hanson

Registered Speech-Language Pathologist Social Skills group Program Coordinator, Chatter leader

My first-hand experience in the Chatter Program™ strengthened not only my communication skills but also my ability to engage and develop positive social relationships with those who socialize and communicate differently.”

Annika HansonRegistered Speech-Language Pathologist Social Skills group Program Coordinator, Chatter leader

Through first-hand experience as a teenage peer in the Chatter Program™, Annika developed an appreciation for the role that a community can play in social success. Today, as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Chatter Program™ Coordinator, Annika works closely with group leaders to develop functional and meaningful goals designed for each group of children in the program.

Annika is passionate about providing volunteer peers with training on communication strategies, neurodiversity, and social differences, so that community members become thoughtful and accepting communication partners. Every Wednesday and Thursday in the Chatter Program™, she looks forward to seeing participants and volunteers having fun together, developing their skills, and forming supportive relationships.

My son doesn’t like new people or crowds so when he first started Chatter he wore sunglasses to help him cope. He no longer requires sunglasses every class and has learned to ask friends “What’s your name?” He’s come a long way since the beginning of September and continues to show increased progress and increased communication skills.

Cynthia N.
Parent in North Edmonton Chatter Program™