CSC Blog

The Importance of Communication Skills for Academic Success

Well developed communication skills are vital to a child’s academic success

At all levels of education, students must be able to communicate effectively. Without well developed communication skills, children run the risk of falling behind their peers or becoming emotionally overwhelmed or withdrawn at school.

communication skills

Academic success depends on solid communication skills, beginning with clear oral communication. Students are often called upon in class to answer questions. These questions may range from those with simple factual answers to questions that involve putting thoughts together and making arguments. Answers to questions need to be communicated effectively so teachers can assess a student’s knowledge. Students with oral challenges may also become embarrassed if they are unable to communicate on par with their peers. If a student stutters or mumbles they may become fearful of speaking up in class, and this in turn can lead to lowered grades and diminished self-esteem.

Oral Communication Skills

A second aspect of oral language communication is pragmatic and social language, used in daily interactions with others. This includes what is said, how it’s said and non-verbal communication, such as eye contact, facial expressions and body language. We navigate our world and our social relationships through language. Understanding how to communicate effectively with peers sets the stage for positive self-esteem. Students feel empowered when they can “talk the talk” in their social lives.

Effective use of oral communication also allows students to advocate for themselves. They must be able to articulate when and how their academic needs are not being met. A student who can effectively ask questions and get help from a teacher will often be more successful than students who remain silent even when they are unsure of what is being asked of them.

Written Communication Skills

learning to write-communication skillsIn addition to oral communication, a child must also develop the ability to communicate effectively with the written word. As students progress through the school years, they are expected to present more of their work in written form. They need to know how to clearly write arguments, summaries, hypotheses, and be able to synthesize complex ideas and concepts. Thoughts and ideas need to be expressed clearly, with effective use of tone and language for the intended audience. Composing a compelling essay is dramatically different than writing a text to a friend.

 

Speech therapy for good communication skills

Treating Communication Disorders

While it is easier, more effective, and less costly to treat speech and language disorders early, in the toddler years, it is never too late to get treatment. If a parent has concerns about their child’s ability to communicate, they should seek an evaluation by a speech and language pathologist.

With the support of a speech therapist and an educational therapist, students who struggle with the academic aspects of language can become stronger students and learn the communication skills they need to be successful in school and in life. ​

 

Related: Taking a Look at Speech Therapy

 

Preparing a Child for Kindergarten-What Parents Need to Know

There is more to preparing a child for Kindergarten than many parents might think.

Preparing a child for kindergarten

 

It is only natural for the parent of a pre-schooler to look forward to their child entering Kindergarten with excitement, pride and perhaps a tear or two. They grow up so fast, right? But what do parents really need to know about their child’s “readiness” for Kindergarten?  In preparation for a smooth and successful transition to Kindergarten,  parents should first take a look at how their child has progressed developmentally.

Age isn’t the answer.

Age is not an exclusive predictor of kindergarten readiness. While most children are developmentally ready to begin school at age 5, developmental strengths and difficulties vary with each child, and they pass through developmental milestones – physical, emotional and cognitive – at different rates.

What Should Parents Look For in Their Pre-K child?

Social/Emotional Regulation (Social Brain Building) – The kindergarten ready child will be able to communicate about thoughts and feelings, needs and wants, and use language to negotiate and problem solve with peers. He/she should be able to stay connected with peers for up to 30 minutes to play reciprocally. He/she will demonstrate independence in personal care. The child should be able to follow three step instructions, understand rules, and that actions have cause and effect. Most importantly, they will be ready to socialize and learn in a group environment.

A child must be able to walk into a situation and be able to observe and listen, then perceive what is expected of them. For example: a child walks into a classroom where other children are sitting and drawing. The child can then conclude that she is expected to sit and draw.

>Learn more about Social Brain Building

Executive Function – The ability to think as a “we” and follow directions, listen, attend, modify behavior and anticipate change, are the building blocks of executive functioning, a set of processes, or neurologically-based skills, that all have to do with managing oneself (mental control and self-regulation) and one’s resources in order to achieve a goal. A solid foundation of Executive Function skills is imperative to all future learning.

>Learn more about Executive Function

Attention – The child should have the core strength and stamina to sit with a calm body, listen, watch, and focus on an activity for 15-20 minutes.

Preparing a child for kindergarten - Kindergarten Readiness camp - Child Success CenterPre-Writing Skills – A child’s visual motor integration enables her to draw or reproduce what she sees, and is essential to learning to handwrite. A pre-K child should exhibit consistent hand dominance, dynamic tripod pencil grasp and ease in successful scissor manipulation. They should be able to legibly write their name and multiple upper case letters from memory.

Visual Processing/Visual Memory – Allows a child to give meaning to, and see similarities and differences in visual images, recall letter formation, and recognize subtle differences between letters such as “f” and “t”.

Language Skills – Studies show that kindergarten teachers list communication skills as the most important indicator of a child’s readiness for kindergarten. Language development supports socialization, participation and cooperation, literacy and learning.

Preparing a child for kindergarten - language skills - Child Success Center

Literacy Skills – “Phonological awareness” is the awareness of the sound structure of words. For example, recognizing that the word “cat” can be broken down into individual sounds: “c-a-t”. Phonological awareness in kindergarten is the single best predictor of later reading and spelling achievement.

Supporting Parents Preparing a Child for Kindergarten

It is important to note that approximately 1 in 5 children experience one or more challenges with behavior, communication, body movement and learning. While these challenges are common, each child’s root issues can be vastly different. If your child is struggling in any of these areas as the transition to Kindergarten approaches, it would be wise to seek out a consultation or assessment with a pediatric therapist who can get to the root issue and facilitate a program of occupational, speech/language, educational or multi-disciplinary therapy.

What is a Kindergarten Readiness Program?

A Kindergarten Readiness Program is designed, with the individual child in mind, to best prepare him to successfully enter school and joyfully manage the “job of Kindergarten”. Each summer, Child Success Center’s Kindergarten Enrichment Camp helps children grow and acquire skills in areas of social learning, academic learning, gross and fine motor skill development, verbal communication, imagination and creativity. Our program is facilitated by learning specialists that understand different learning styles and can adapt the K-Camp experience to create the “just right challenge” for each child.

Through a social learning lens, mindfulness-based practices allow the camper to explore group dynamics, practice transitions and develop skills to monitor changes in the environment. Skills are added to their toolbox for attending, being present and listening with their whole body, while creating a foundation for emotional balance.

In addition to preparing kids for a successful entrance into Kindergarten, K-Camp is a great time for socializing, making new friends and having summer fun.

>Learn more about Kindergarten Summer Enrichment Camp 2019

Preparing a child for Kindergarten-Kindergarten Enrichment Summer Camp-Child Success Center

Preparing for First Grade – Social Learning

Your kindergartner works hard at school. Not only are there academic expectations, but your child needs  to self-regulate in order to manage the various social expectations. Whether following planned group activities, transitioning from one activity to another, using spoken language to share ideas, taking turns, listening when others speak, or managing big feelings and big energy, social brain building is imperative for success.

Your child wants to belong, feel connected, solve problems, share ideas and work within a group, but it doesn’t always happen naturally. Often a child needs the “just-right” support for their individual make up, to be able to build the foundational skills of self-regulation and flexible thinking, then be able to put them into practice within a group environment.

Children who struggle with self-regulation and flexible thinking in kindergarten often enter 1st grade with anxiety or struggles with:

  • Making transitions
  • Managing big feelings and energy levels
  • Talking out of turn or grabbing
  • Negotiating and compromising
  • “Plugging in” to group plans and processes

 

Could your child use a boost in their Social Brain Building this summer?

social learning camp - social brain building

Child Success Center’s experienced therapists have teamed up with social learning specialist, Kelly Priest, to design a 2-week summer enrichment camp that will help campers gain the social skills and confidence they need for a successful first grade.

With a plan designed and implemented by CSC’s skilled and compassionate occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists, this summertime fun adventure will allow children to make use of their boundless imaginations and the power of play. As a team, they’ll “create” their “campsite” and problem solve camp themed scenarios, like what they would need to pack for a camping adventure, how they’d get there, what they would do once they got there, what they would take to eat and what they would see.

 

Campers will use their imagination to set out on a 2-week journey –

destination unknown – of fun, adventure and team building!

 

Are there resources available for parent support of social brain building at home?

Social Brain Building Summer Camp will feature choice selections from Kelly’s social learning curriculum, with visuals, activities, and parent education on key ways to help support a child’s ongoing social learning. Additionally, two parent education sessions with Kelly Priest will be available for more in-depth supports.

 

Social Brain Building Summer Camp for Social Learning

 

Learn more about Social Brain Building Summer Camp

Learn more about Kelly Priest, Social Learning Specialist

Understanding Interoception-New Insights into Common Childhood Issues

The little known sense, “interoception” might be the reason for common childhood issues with sleeping and potty training.

Interoception is the sense within the human body that enables it to experience, understand and react to the physiological state of itself. It has two main functions: body state and emotional state.

Interoception and Body States

interoceptionBody states involve the basic functions or physical conditions of the body and interoception allows us to feel and be aware of the inside of our bodies, including organs and skin. It is vital in helping us feel sensations such as pain, tickle, itch, body temperature, hunger, thirst, heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension, pleasant touch, nausea, headache, sleepiness, and when we need to use the bathroom.

The ultimate goal is for our bodies to reach homeostasis, an internal balance of systems using the least amount of energy. When our internal balance, or homeostasis, is off, our interoceptive system signals our body to take action. For example, if we experience a dry throat and mouth, our interoceptive system, if working properly, will tell our brain that we are thirsty and we need to get a drink of water, which results in decreased discomfort and reduced dry throat and mouth. However, if our interoceptive system is not working properly, signals can be misinterpreted by our bodies, resulting in what presents as an “outburst,” “tantrum,” or “shutdown”, agreeably inappropriate reactions to thirst.

Likewise, if our interoceptive system sends a signal indicating a full bladder and the message is not processed correctly, the appropriate response of heading to a bathroom might not occur. A chronic inability to react appropriately to a given signal can lead to emotional distress and compensatory behavior such as moodiness, nervousness or distraction.

Interoception and Emotional States

Emotional states involve our moods and the emotional conditions of our bodies. The interoceptive system helps us to regulate our emotions, identify our emotions, and determine how we view other’s emotions. It helps us identify anger, embarrassment, happiness, anxiety, excitement, sadness, and fear. For example, a fast heartbeat, tingly stomach, and shaking muscles could mean you are anxious, while slow/rhythmic breathing and loose muscles could mean you are relaxed.

Our ability to self-regulate is closely tied to our interoceptive system. If our interoceptive system is working properly, we are aware of our internal signals (thirst, hunger, full bladder, heart rate, etc.) and able to guide our reaction to those signals. A person with poor emotional awareness could have an interoceptive system that is working inefficiently and therefore not providing clear body signals. Without clear body signals, they may not notice subtle differences in the way each emotion feels and can result in difficulty identifying and controlling those emotions.

Without clear and understood awareness of their internal state, it can be impossible to develop good self-regulation skills, therefore impacting a child’s ability to successfully engage within their social and physical environment. Helping your child begins with learning about treatment options. Occupational therapy, with a focus on sensory processing and with the use of mindfulness activities, can help facilitate interoceptive processing and awareness.

Child Success Center offers many options in the way of treating sensory processing issues and building your child’s interoceptive system. Call today to learn more about our individualized, peer-to-peer and group programs.

Learn more about Child Success Programs that support development of a child’s interoceptive system…

Occupational Therapy

Behavioral Therapy

Kindergarten Enrichment Camp

Looking Back on Kindergarten Camp Summer 2018

Child Success Center Kindergarten Enrichment Summer Camp 2018Kindergarten Enrichment Camp – Summer 2018 – A Look Back

The fall school term is fully under way, and here at CSC, we’re thinking back with smiles on our faces, about the wonderful children we shared our summer with, that are now officially Kindergarteners!

We’re smiling remembering all the fun we had, but also because we know that after a few weeks at Summer Kindergarten Enrichment Camp, these little bundles of energy are prepared and ready to take on the challenge of a new environment, new adults, new peers and new experiences.

The Kindergarten setting requires young students to spend more time sitting, listening, and following direction. They need more refined motor skills to create letters and numbers. They need to be able to integrate sensory input and self-regulate and self-monitor in order to respond appropriately to changes in the physical environment of the classroom as well as the social landscape of the classroom and playground. Summer K-Camp gave our little pre-Kindergarteners the tools they need to meet all these challenges successfully.

Hanging out in our large sensory gym, campers, using mindfulness as a platform, engaged in myriad positive social learning experiences, built phonological awareness, and began to build their desire for lifelong learning. Mindfulness practices during circle time and moments of stillness, taught campers to pause and recognize sensations, impulses and the need to think and plan. They learned about positive self-talk, and how to build a loving relationship with their inner selves, a critical first step to developing successful social relationships with others.

Using the methodology of “whole-body” listening and the “Zones of Regulation”, campers fostered the self-awareness needed to be social and open, and to be able to ask for help and verbalize needs and experiences. Working these social-emotional “muscles” resulted in our campers gaining strength in social and educational learning, allowing it to happen organically and with meaning. Working those muscles also required “flexibility” in thinking during activity transitions, like from the fully active gym to table-top time, which required children to attend and be more on task.

Our camp facilitators loved seeing the kiddos learn while they played with letters and sounds. Who doesn’t love to hear little voices boisterously “moooooo-ing” like cows to match the sound with the letter? Every year, it seems, the sensory activity the kids like the most is using their fingers to form  letters and free form shapes on the “shaving cream table”. Messy, but fun!

Like any summer camp experience, each child took away his/her own set of “nuggets” of fun and learning, but we know that all of them left with a tool box full of skills that will help them have the best start possible to their academic career.

Learn more about Kindergarten Enrichment Camp at Child Success Center.

 

 

Summer Slide and Your Child’s Social Skills

The “summer slide” can affect your child’s social skills as well as his academic skills.

Friendship Club - avoid summer slide of social skillsYou’ve probably heard of  summer slide – the up to 30% loss of academic skills that many children experience over the summer school break. And, perhaps you’ve enrolled your child in summer academic enrichment programs like the SPARK Reading and Math Programs here at Child Success Center, to help keep your child’s academic skills sharp and ready for the fall school term. But you might not know that children can also experience summer slide when it comes to their social skills. Long term, this may be a more far-reaching issue that can hinder your child’s success as an adult.

A study published in 2015 explains that social skills observed in kindergarten showed significant correlation with well-being at age 25! Kindergarteners who were socially competent were more likely to graduate from high school, go to college, get a job and stay out of jail than those who exhibited a lower level of social competence.

Children tend to “grade” each other on their social competence. The child who just naturally is well endowed with social skills, makes friends easily, is outgoing and at ease around people may be rewarded with a higher level of status amongst his peers. The child that is shy or feels awkward and uncomfortable around people may get far lower “grades” from his peers that can result in a diminished sense of overall confidence and interfere with the child’s ability to attend and focus on the process of learning academics.

This can present a conundrum to parents who face school entry requirements weighing heavily on high academic achievement. Parents may opt to cut back on activities involving play and social interaction, and fill that time instead with additional academic endeavors. This scenario, coupled with the myriad digital opportunities for children to play and communicate, can create a detrimental imbalance in the development of the whole child. Fortunately, the school environment is one that not only teaches academics, but also provides various opportunities for children to learn to get along with other people, peers and leadership, and develop social skills. The feedback they get from these social interactions is vital to learning skills like how to play well with others, how to problem-solve, how to label and recognize feelings, how to be empathetic and helpful, how to control impulses, how to be a “we-thinker”, and how to use and understand verbal and non-verbal communication.

For many children, those social learning opportunities greatly diminish during the summer school break. Once out of the school environment and routine, children may spend more time alone or engaged in digital entertainment/communication, which research has shown may interfere with a child’s ability to recognize emotions in the people around them. It can become a slippery slide for a child from being a “we-thinker” to thinking in silo.

Social deficits can pose a lifelong problem, making it imperative that they be identified early and addressed, similarly to the approach that would be taken with a learning disability. Under the guidance of skilled pediatric occupational and speech/language therapists, children can learn through peer-to-peer experiences and roll playing, acquiring vital social skills in a fun, engaging, and active environment. Even those children who have exhibited social competency thus far can be greatly served by a summer program to help keep those skills sharp and prepare them with additional social skills tools that will cross over into academic learning success.

With all that modern technology has to offer, there is still nothing that can replace the gratification and lifelong effects of a successful and meaningful person-to-person encounter, and the learning that goes along with it.

 

Therapeutic Social Learning Options

Individual and Paired Peer Therapy Sessions

Kindergarten Enrichment Camp

This popular CSC program helps children develop confidence when taking the first steps toward reading, writing, attending to a new routine and making new friends. CSC’s huge gymnasium is turned into a fun learning camp with swings, a trampoline, a climbing wall and monkey bars to take children on an adventure while building up their kindergarten social skills.

Summer Friendship Club – Social Skills Enrichment Program

Designed for children, ages 4.5 – 11, who are having a difficult time navigating the social landscape of the classroom or group setting and/or building and maintaining friendships. The small group environment of Friendship Club works well for the child who needs a structured social environment to strengthen and master communication skills.

Is Your Child Ready to Transition to Kindergarten Activities?

Is your pre-school age child making the transition to Kindergarten in the fall?

transition to Kindergarten

As a parent, this can be both an exciting and emotional time, but for the child making the transition to kindergarten it is a major shift in routine, environment and academic expectations. Common Core Standards have raised the academic bar, even at the Kindergarten level. But it is a child’s ability to attune, adapt, anticipate and efficiently process information, that is critical to a successful transition from the pre-school environment.

In pre-school a child may be given a single level task that when autonomously completed frees the child to go off and play. In contrast, as a Kindergartener a child may be asked to remain with an activity for a longer period of time, requiring auditory attention to both learn and follow an external plan. The activity may involve a series of directions that require the child to adjust his perspective or body multiple times, while self-regulating his emotions and actions. Since more time is spent in Kindergarten with whole-class, teacher-led instruction, a child must have the ability to think as a “we”, to attend and adjust to a group activity that requires social collaboration such as discussions about a story being told, its characters, settings and how they can relate to the story.

As a Kindergartener, a child will now have to attune herself to her surroundings and peers, a shift from the more self-attuned pre-school positioning. The child must be able to walk into a situation and be able to observe and listen then perceive what is expected of them. For example: a child walks into a classroom where other children are sitting and drawing. The child can then conclude that she is expected to sit and draw. This awareness, or metacognition, will keep the child from getting distracted and disorganized, helping to facilitate the efficacy of each learning experience. Auditory processing allows the child to attune to teacher directions and turn language into actions in order to follow new routines or complete a task. Repetition established by the kindergarten teacher will support this learning curve throughout the kinder year.

The ability to think as a “we” and follow directions, listen, attend, modify behavior and anticipate change, are the building blocks of executive functioning, a set of processes, or neurologically-based skills, that all have to do with managing oneself (mental control and self-regulation) and one’s resources in order to achieve a goal. A solid foundation of Executive Function skills is imperative to all future learning.

All of these so-called “soft skills” are necessary for the Kindergartener to achieve success in the development of the “hard skills” such as the acquisition of the understanding of letters and numbers. Kindergarteners are expected to recognize the letters of the alphabet, both in upper and lower cases. They need to understand the difference between sounds, letters and words, and that words have meaning and make up sentences. They must know number formation so they can begin the process of learning how to break out numbers.

Fine motor skills such as holding and using a pencil/crayon/marker/ and scissors, are required as children, over the course of the school year, will need to be able to express their thoughts, ideas and experiences through drawing and writing.

It is important to note that approximately 1 in 5 children experience one or more challenges with behavior, communication, body movement and learning. While these challenges are common, each child’s root issues can be vastly different. If your child is struggling in any of these areas as the transition to Kindergarten approaches, it would be wise to seek out a consultation or assessment with a pediatric therapist who can get to the root issue and facilitate a program of occupational, speech/language, educational or multi-disciplinary therapy.

Transition to Kindergarten

What Your Child May Experience in an Occupational Therapy Session

An occupational therapy session is work for a child’s brain, disguised as play.

A child’s “occupations” include everything he or she does throughout the day – the “jobs of childhood” – the most important jobs being playing, socializing, and learning. The purpose of pediatric occupational therapy is to help a child become comfortable, independent, and proficient in these areas of their lives.

Occupational therapy session at Child Success CenterOccupational therapy addresses a variety of areas of deficits including fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social emotional skills and sensory integration. Initial therapy sessions help the therapist to understand the unique wiring of the individual child’s brain and nervous system. The therapist will consult with the child’s parents to ascertain what home and school life are like for the child, and what they have observed in their child’s development. This evaluation and analysis process will continue across subsequent sessions as the child’s nervous system develops.

Each occupational therapy session is tailored to meet the child’s specific needs, facilitated in a warm and comfortable environment, and created to reflect the child’s interests.

Sensory processing, or organizing, is how a child learns and experiences the world around him. “Just right” sensory experiences during the therapy session will help the child with emotional regulation, self-regulation and social engagement. Intact sensory integration provides the fundamental building blocks for attention, emotional development, motor skills development and higher-level academics and social skills.

An occupational therapy session, utilizing a sensory integration treatment approach, will often target the social-emotional system, employing the Zones of Regulation, Floortime and Social Thinking® (Attributed to Michelle Garcia Winner as creator of the Social Thinking Methodology) programs. Covered would be social skills concepts such as staying with the group, taking turns, collaborative play, and interacting with peers and adults, in order for children to be successful in relationships and group environments.

occupational therapy session at Child Success Center Santa MonicaOccupational therapy may work on fine motor skills such as grasp and in-hand manipulation, necessary for drawing, coloring, folding and cutting. Visual motor integration, the ability to use the visual system and the fine or gross motor systems together, and essential to activities such as handwriting, ball play and sports, may be addressed.

An OT session might include work on gross motor skills that are involved in playing sports that require bilateral coordination, ball skills, strength, coordination and balance. The therapist will provide easy and creative activities and exercises to help increase upper body and core strength necessary for postural stability, balance, coordination, gross and fine motor control and will often provide a home-based program for follow through.

Often, children who struggle with Sensory Integration and are referred to Occupational Therapy have challenges with Executive Function Skills, necessary for learning and development. In order for a child to plan and organize what they need to do throughout the day, such as getting homework done, they need to be able to focus attention, filter distractions, remember and perform multi-step directions.

Occupational therapy is work for a child’s brain, disguised as play. All children engaged in occupational therapy experience a new level of confidence and self-esteem that comes with learning a new skill or overcoming a challenge. The smile on their face will say it all.

This program, including its teacher or leader, is not affiliated with, nor has it been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by Michelle Garcia Winner and Think Social Publishing, Inc.

When Parents Need More Support With a Child’s Challenging Behavior

What are Behavior Therapy Services?

Parenting Techniques and Family Work

Some children are more challenging to parent than others.  Parents with multiple children say, “It wasn’t like this with my other kids”, or first time parents say, “My friends don’t seem to have the same problems that we are having.”  A set of parenting techniques used with one child may not necessarily work with another, based on individual differences in temperament, behavior and  developmental challenges.

There are research-based techniques that can provide help with the understanding and application of positive behavioral strategies for your child.  Topics include positive discipline techniques, difficult behaviors at home and at school, positive praise and attention, providing effective directions and transitional warnings, how to create and maintain a home-based token system, and effective conflict resolution and problem solving with your child.  For most families, behavior therapy begins with a series of meetings with parents to create a foundation for behavior interventions.

Individual Behavior Therapy – Child Based

Behavior therapy at Child Success CenterOnce at least two parent meetings are complete, our therapists can provide individual behavior therapy for your child.  This therapy is generally play based and uses the Social Thinking® (Attributed to Michelle Garcia Winner as creator of the Social Thinking Methodology) curriculum to explore social concepts.  Individual Behavior Therapy is recommended for children that have a difficult time emotionally regulating in a group, separating from parents, or require more individual attention in learning and practicing social concepts than they would in a group setting.  Once a child has completed between 4-12 individual sessions, it may be recommended they practice their skills in a therapeutic two-person play session, or a group setting.  During these sessions, occasionally parents may be asked to join in on part of the session.

How Does Behavior Therapy Help at Home and at School?

Each child and family is different, and requires different techniques and tools.  The number of sessions above, indicate the average numbers of sessions for behavior intervention.  In order for behavior to change and generalize between settings, it is important to have effective communication between the adults in your child’s life.  The more consistent all of the adults in a child’s life are, the faster change is able to happen.  Being consistent becomes the most challenging part of behavior therapy for parents.  Receiving behavior therapy interventions can be equated as having a personal trainer at the gym. They hold you accountable for the behavior “work outs” that your family is going through, and provide support during the difficult times when you want to throw in the towel.  Once a positive behavior system that works for your child is in place at home, often times that same or similar system can be implemented in school to support your child.

Learn more about Behavior Therapy at Child Success Center.

This program, including its teacher or leader, is not affiliated with, nor has it been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by Michelle Garcia Winner and Think Social Publishing, Inc.

 

Friendship Club – Practice Social Skills in a Group Setting

Friendship Club groups at Child Success Center are developmentally based and designed to give children an opportunity to practice social interactions with therapeutic intervention and coaching.

Friendship Club

For some children, friendships are difficult to make- and even harder to maintain.  Friendship Club groups are developmentally based and designed to give children an opportunity to practice successful social interactions with therapeutic staff intervention and coaching.  Friendship Club uses positive reinforcement to help children stay motivated to join a group plan, be flexible with their ideas, and stick with social situations that are challenging.  Once a child has practice with positive social interactions, their confidence builds. Children are able to join groups easier, transition to and from activities, share their feelings effectively, and problem solve with their friends in order to create meaningful and long lasting friendships.  We use the Social Thinking® (Attributed to Michelle Garcia Winner as creator of the Social Thinking Methodology) curriculum to support social skills concepts, role play, engage in group games, and use art projects to facilitate social interaction. We use unstructured play in order to create scenarios similar to those children encounter at school, parties, and play dates in order to socially coach children through big feelings and conflicts.

The goal of Friendship Club is for children to increase their confidence and positive behavior skills to generalize to the home and school setting. Rome was not built in a day, and the same goes for children’s social skills.  In this social skills based program, children benefit from being given the opportunity to practice effective communication in a supportive environment. Educating the adults in the child’s life, and using the same social vocabulary in group, at home, and at school helps generalize the desired behavior changes and social interactions. Friendship Club members are physically active and challenged in a sensory gym environment, while being given a social skills curriculum that addresses both social needs and behaviors that may impede successful peer relationships.

It is the job of childhood to learn how to play and interact successfully. Friendship Club uses external motivation, a token economy system, to grow and learn positive social skills. Members “earn” Friendship Tokens they can use to “shop” in our prize bin at the end of each session. Over time, the need for external motivation decreases as the new habits increase and social reciprocity is achieved.

Summer is an excellent time to help foster the social growth of your child, especially for those moving from a pre-school to Kindergarten, or from Kindergarten to First Grade. The Child Success Center offers Friendship Club on weekends through the summer to help children and families stay on track with their social learning.

Learn more about Summer Learning Academy and Friendship Club on our website.

This program, including its teacher or leader, is not affiliated with, nor has it been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by Michelle Garcia Winner and Think Social Publishing, Inc.

Child Success Center
828 Pico Blvd., Suite 7
Santa Monica, CA 90405-1350
Call 310-899-9597 to access our “warm” line.
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