March 18, 2018
ARTICLE:

Easter holiday programs

By Kate Horstmann

Easter holiday programs.

Holiday workshops are a great way to break up seemingly endless days at home, while at the same time providing a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn from other each other and make new friends. Please contact me if you have any questions about the programs.

Ashgrove | ZONES OF REGULATION
A fun ‘booster’ group for students who have already learnt the basics of the Zones framework. This program will give particular focus to social relationships.
April 9, 10, 11
2.00 to 3.00pm
More details here

Ashgrove | TYPING SKILLS
Practical & interactive sessions for kids who find handwriting difficult, have resisted learning to touch-type or have lost motivation. Suitable for students grade 2-6
April 9, 10, 11
3.30 to 4.15pm
More details here

Book holiday workshop


Social Skills.

Over the last few years there has been a renewed focus on the importance of social skills, perhaps as we realise that we focus too heavily on ‘academic’ goals for our children. Research in the fields of emotional intelligence and resilience continue to highlight the positive outcomes associated with being socially competent.

From a therapeutic perspective, evidence confirms that the best intervention occurs in natural settings for the child (home, school or club), with adult support to help scaffold and build learning, and when there are positive peer role models around the child.

There is still benefit in focussed support through therapy sessions, but it is important to remember that it is essentially teaching the ‘theory’ and ‘strategies’ and that the real difference is made when this can be put into practice in daily life.

This is why parents and teachers play such as essential role in supporting social skill development.
Below are three different approaches I use regularly in therapy.

Zones of Regulation | Addresses the social challenges that come from self-regulation difficulties. Maintaining friendships can be hard when you have difficulties staying calm, managing impulsivity and tuning in to the social cues from the people around you. This is particularly relevant for children with ADHD, who often have good social knowledge and skills but struggle to use them! Learning the Zones of Regulation and focussing it on social situations can be really beneficial.  More info

Secret Agent Society | This program was designed for children (8-12 years) with ASD. It is one of the best researched social skills programs and has shown great results when administered as a complete program. Unfortunately it is a long program (10 x 2 hour sessions with 2 x 2 hour reviews) which can make the cost prohibitive to many families. I have run the program many times and have had great results. Schools have started sending teachers to get trained in this program and some are running variations of this program. As a family you can also buy resources including the workbook and computer game to use independently at home. More info

We Thinkers Social Thinking resources | This is a collection of stories developed for children with ASD and designed to teach foundation concepts that underly our social skills and abilities. I have been using these tools over the past year, but recently attended a two day training from one of the authors when they visited Australia. The programs range from simple concepts such as ‘thinking with our eyes’ and keeping our ‘body in the group’, to more advanced concepts such as ‘stuck and flexible thinking’ and the ‘size of the problem’. There are more advanced resources including the ‘Social Detective’ and ‘Superflex and the Unthinkables’ which help teach social problem solving (8+ years). While this approach hasn’t been researched to the extent that the Secret Agent Society has, it is flexible in its delivery and is valued by many therapists and teachers. More info

 

Please get in touch with Kate Horstmann if you would like to discuss how these approaches could benefit your child – Phone 3177 2000.

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