FRIENDS Groups is more than a social skills program. It helps children develop the social language, emotional processing and sensory regulation skills necessary for making and keeping friends. It’s difficult to have a social interaction without processing emotions in the moment. Our occupational and speech therapists co-lead our groups and are effective at helping children understand this link. Group themes include processing emotions, reading/using non-verbal cues, conversational skills/reciprocity, problem solving, negotiating and increasing self awareness.
Who would benefit from FRIENDS Groups?
The answer is that all children would benefit. Because creating and maintaining relationships requires the social and emotional skills that can be hard for children to learn.
Here’s a profile of children we often see:
- Avoids playdates or peer social situations
- Inflexible to other’s ideas
- Difficulty joining and participating in groups
- Not able to hold recipricating age appropriate conversations with peers
- Socially aggressive, shy or awkward
Fun With Food
Fun With Food integrates sensory, motor, oral, behavioral and nutritional factors to help children overcome feeding problems. Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew or swallow it. The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) feeding protocol is an effective way to address problematic eating behaviors. It focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about different properties of food, such as texture, taste, smell and consistency. The SOS approach follows a multi-step hierarchy that allows a child to interact with food in a fun, playful and non-stressful way.
This program is facilitated in an individual therapy setting as well as with a small group of 2 to 4 children. We offer the program for children preschool through middle school. The groups are led by both a speech and language pathologist and an occupational therapist.
Improvisation for Social Language
Improv is a fun way to help students make social connections while having fun! Students will use improv to improve social language skills within a supportive setting. No previous improv or theater experience necessary. Various social concepts will be explored and tied into a variety of theater games which will not only enhance performance skills, but help produce positive relationships and improved social thinking. Areas of social language skills include: flexible thinking, attention/focus, comprehension and use of non-verbal language/gestures, emotion, perspective taking, whole body listening, problem solving, self confidence, reciprocity and conversational skills. Improv classes will be taught by a speech pathologist with a background in improvisation.
Please note that Meghan Murphy and Associates does not accept insurance. Our monthly invoices contain all the information insurers need to process claims that you submit. We accept checks drawn from a Health Savings Account. We recommend that you check with your accountant to determine if there are any tax deductions for which our services may qualify.