SUPERKIDS is the name we give to those kids attending our social skills groups. Our social skills groups are different than others for two reasons – we focus on “real world” learning and we offer groups through various sponsor organizations, not at our office. That means we can start a group anywhere a sponsoring organization believes it would be beneficial.
Social Skills Development and Social Developmental Pragmatics
We offer TWO types of social skills experiences – Focused and Free-Style. We are able to offer group services to sponsoring organizations as well as individual work at our office. Group experiences can be offered for issues of Shyness, Bullying and Making Friends and also for Developmental Social Pragmatics
An “open” or Free-Style group simply means that new participants may join a group already in progress at any time and can start their group experience later than earlier joiners. A “closed” group simply means that once a group has started, no new participants may join the join already in progress because it is closed to new participants until it ends and a new group starts. Each type of group has advantages for participants and we offer both kinds. Our closed groups focus on shyness, bullying and making friends; our open groups focus more on self-confidence, self-efficacy and self-esteem building.
Focused – for Shyness, Bullying and Making Friends.
Social skills – including communication skills and socializing appropriately in a variety of situations – are among the most important skills needed in the modern world. Many otherwise highly skilled and competent children may be bothered by shyness, social phobia, lack of confidence or confusion when interacting with others in new or unfamiliar social settings. This may be even more true in children with verbally-based Learning Disabilities (LD), Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NLD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as they may have difficulty learning and adapting to the social cues and nuances that are important to making friends, holding jobs and getting along with others in modern life. Our social skills groups are matched by developmental or maturational age and skill level following a curriculum designed to develop awareness and practice in self-monitoring, perceptive-other turn-taking and group behavior. We focus on three areas – Shyness, Bullying, and Making Friends – and parents are expected to monitor the homework that each child may bring home to practice between group meetings. Groups are usually limited to 6 children and can be organized throughout the school year at sponsoring organizations, such as schools, day-cares, churches or other organizations.
Social Developmental Pragmatics Groups
These groups are excellent training for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, social anxiety disorders and even disruptive behavior disorders. Classes focus on:
- Using Language For Different Purposes
- Extracting The Meaningfulness From Language
- Changing Language To Suit Different Roles
- Choosing Good Friends
- Following Rules and Taking Turns
- Understanding Social Roles and Nuances
Free-Style – for Self-Development and Personal Goal Setting.
In some individuals, social skills are quite under-developed – to the point that they don’t even have a basic foundation or sociability from which to build, or develop, the usual social interactions that people need today to make and keep friends and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In such cases, self-development, defined here as empathy, self-care, self-esteem and self-efficacy, is often the first necessary step to create or strengthen the basic building blocks of social skills upon which later skills can then be added.
Our Free-Style Group is an open psychoeducational group. Participants range in age and ability level and the groups can be as small as two participants. Individuals who may not feel comfortable in our closed groups may feel very comfortable and “free” in these groups, where they can work on personal tasks on a limited socially-interactive environment without anxiety.