PALS – Personal and Life Skills Programme

This programme, the first of it’s kind, places equal emphasis on personal and emotional self management skills, self esteem and social skills development. It directly addresses the barriers to social skill advancement through individualised child centred lessons, and constantly feeds back information and lesson plans to parents.

The PALS Programme is open to children between the ages of 10 and 14, with a diagnosis of autism who would be classified as ASD Level 1 (Requiring Support). The Programme operates online in modular form through our Shine Educate portal. There is a maximum of 6 places per individual module. Each PALS session is delivered live over zoom with a trained PALS facilitator. Each module comprises of 6 individual lessons, the lessons are completed weekly with each lesson lasting approximately one hour. The cost per module is €60 (approx cost of €10 per lesson). Group discussion, involvement and contributions are a central part of the programme, with the participants encouraged to talk about, discuss and share their own experiences.

The modules are available on a rotational basis throughout the year and a child can complete just one or all six of the modules.

Parent involvement is also a key element, and all skills covered are available to parents to review on a weekly basis. We welcome parent feedback, and our Co -ordinator, Laura Crowley, is available to advise and answer parent queries whenever they may arise.

For further information please contact Laura Crowley in the Shine Centre on 021-4377052 or alternatively email

About the PALS Programme:

PALS (Personal & Life Skills Programme) is a ground breaking programme aimed at children and adolescents with a diagnosis of ASD Level 1 (Requiring Support).  The PALS programme has been developed by the Shine Centre’s Building Blocks team to address the issue of social disconnect for our children as they enter adolescents and beyond. The programme also works on the areas of self esteem and anxiety. The aim of this programme is to equip the children and adolescents who attend PALS with the social skills and life skills they so desperately need to enable them to play a full part in their peer groups and communities.

As they get older, many children of our children are forced to the margins of their peer groups due to the social skills deficits that are an inherent part of their diagnosis. Most of these children and adolescents desperately want to form friendships and relationships but are simply unable to do so due to the absence of the social skills that they require to operate in social situations. This inability to operate in a social environment may lead to increased anxiety, bullying, leaving school early, exclusion or self imposed exclusion from peer groups or in extreme cases self harm. Self esteem plays a vital role in this cycle and can impede a child from even trying to include themselves in the wider community. Many children of our children can operate successfully in social situations if they understand the social norms associated with that situation. For example if the social situation is casual they need to be able to recognise that and then rely on their learned skills in that situation to interact on their own terms with others.

The PALS programme incorporating the following elements:

1. Self Esteem
2. Management of Emotions
3. Pragmatics
4. Social Skills Development
5. Friendships
6. Life Skills
7. Anxiety
8. Emotional Recognition

The PALS programme targets the key areas of social development with social skills and self esteem building at the centre of the project. This structured programme addresses many of these deficits early in their development and in a step by step process equips our children with the skills they need to operate effectively in a social environment. These skills will also improve the outcomes in both their family and educational settings. The PALS programme feeds positively into the child’s ability to cope and self manage in social situations that would have previously caused stress and anxiety and result in the child opting out. The long term outcome of the PALS programme is to equip our children and adolescents with the foundation skills they will need to operate independently in day to day situations.

For more information and to check module availability please visit our Shine Educate portal:

Click Here:    Shine Educate



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