Top 6 Reasons For An Occupational Therapist To Work At Our Pediatric Clinic

Top 6 reasons Why the most caring and knowledgable occupational therapists need to apply to work at North Shore Pediatric Therapy ASAP:

1. We are known for having the best culture (check out our awesome culture videos here)out there in the peds field. We know how to have fun, work hard, and grow personally and professionally!

2. We are adding our 13th and 14th Occupational Therapists to our multidisciplinary group so you have a super group of colleagues!

3. Highland Park, Illinois where one of North Shore Pediatric Therapy’s (newly renovated) Clinic is located is a beautiful city and easy to commute to!

4. North Shore Pediatric Therapy provides medically trained, evidence based treatment that works for each child and you, as the therapist will make that difference!

4. We provide transparent and supportive managers!

5. We are currently the fastest growing pediatric clinic about to grow even more and are currently looking for Occupational Therapists with leadership qualities to get us there!

6. You are happy at your current work but heard that North Shore Pediatric Therapy was the place to be!

Join us now! Apply online  right now!

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12 Ways to Help your Child who is Sensitive to Textures (tags, socks, sand)

Children with tactile defensiveness or hypersensitivity will avoid, become fearful of, or bothered by  various, every-day touch experiences that typically would not cause alarm or issues for others. Their avoidance of tactile experiences and lack of engagement in tactile play ultimately limits their learning experiences and development of gross and fine motor skills.

Tactile defensiveness and hypersensitivity happens because the nervous system is not interpreting touch sensations and stimulation accurately, resulting in a child responding with fear, avoidance, withdrawal, or acting out with a “fight-or-flight” response. Your child is not acting this way to intentionally make life difficult for your family. Don’t get upset, blame your child, or punish your child, but advocate for your child’s difficulties, and help them get the treatment and accommodations they need!

Following are 12 ideas to help your child who is sensitive to textures:

1. Seamless socks (www.smartknitkids.com )Boy putting on Sock

2. Cut tags out of clothing

3. Go shopping with your child and allow them to choose clothes and shoes that they like

4. Make your own Play Doh:

CHOCOLATE SCENTED PLAYDOH:

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup salt

1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar

1/2 tablespoon cooking oil

1 cup boiling water.

Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cream of tartar together. Add cooking oil and boiling water to mixture. Stir quickly and mix well. Cook over low heat until dough forms a ball. When cool, mix with your hands. Store in airtight container.

5. Administer deep pressure when a child is irritated by texture… Practice deep pressure often. “Deep pressure” refers to a type of touch that may help to desensitize your child’s tactile experience. This could include massage, a “bear hug” or wrapping your child snugly in a blanket.

6. Wearing spandex or lycra clothes under regular clothing has a calming effect because deep pressure is distributed over the body/limbs.

7. Engage in play with undesirable textures for short periods of time and in a non threatening way. Try to slowly increase the time that it is tolerated. For example, shaving cream, glue, sand, dry rice, etc.

8. Keep crunchy foods on hand for your sensory-sensitive child, as these foods facilitate an important “sixth sense” called proprioception, which allows a person to accurately perceive body awareness, movement and body position. Crunchy foods may help your child to develop better proprioception.

9. Separate textures during meals. It may help to avoid mixing foods together that have conflicting textures, such as mashed potatoes and gravy.

10. Fun activities to try:

  • Play Doh, Moon Sand
  • Finding objects buried and hidden in dry beans or rice (uncooked)
  • Fingerpainting with pudding or fingerpaints
  • Towel rub down after a warm bath (firm, quick strokes)
  • Messy play with paints, foams, etc. in the tub where they can immediately wash off if bothered by it
  • Lotion massage to extremities

11. An Occupational Therapist (OT) may guide you in administering the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, which has the purpose of decreasing tactile sensitivities.

12. A child with tactile defensiveness and sensitivity needs to be in Occupational Therapy. Tactile hypersensitivity and defensiveness will not go away on its own! Tactile sensitivity is often part of a larger problem, called Sensory Processing Disorder. An occupational therapist can help your child decrease sensory sensitivities and improve overall sensory processing for improved daily functioning in all areas. It is an OT’s goal to introduce tactile experiences slowly and gradually as the child is ready to experience them, so this defensive/aversive reaction is avoided! In order to achieve proper developmental milestones and develop social skills, these children need to have the underlying sensory defensiveness addressed.

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“No! Don’t touch me there.”: How to Teach Young Children about Safe Touch

With all the news on the Penn State Scandal where a coach sexually assaulted children and no one stopped him, parents are asking how and what they should teach their children about “Safe Touch”.

There are multiple lessons parents teach children to ensure their safety, such as: handling interactions with strangers, getting help when bullied, maintaining a healthy diet, using the internet in appropriate ways, and opening up to their parents for advice and guidance. Another vital lesson that parents can begin teaching in early childhood and continue throughout adolescence is the difference between safe and unsafe touch. Guidance and conversations regarding safe touch can help children improve safety skills, body awareness, assertiveness, and confidence.

Below are some strategies in teaching children about Safe Touch:

1. Teach your children about their body parts and privacy.

  • Help your children name their body parts so that they are aware of and comfortable with their bodies. You can make this a fun activity by tracing your children’s bodies on paper and then labeling and coloring the body parts together.safe touch holding hands
  • Once your children can label their body parts, teach them where their “private parts” are. A simple way to explain “private parts” is to outline
    body parts that are covered by a swimsuit. Test your children by asking them to name the parts covered by a swimsuit.
  • Explain to your children that we do not share our “private parts” and that if anyone asks to see or touch our “private parts,” we should say “no” and tell a trusted adult. Be sure to differentiate when touching private parts is appropriate (ie. Getting a checkup at the doctor’s, changing a diaper, parents tending to injuries, etc.) and inappropriate.
  • Also emphasize to your children that everyone has “private parts” and that they should respect that. They should not ask to see or touch people’s “private parts” either because that could make people feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Teach your children that if their peers ask to see or touch “private parts,” they should say, “Those parts are private, and we should not share” and ask a trusted adult for help.
  • The Right Touch is a great book, written by a licensed clinical social worker, that parents can use to start the conversation about privacy and safe/unsafe touch.

2. Explain the concept of consent.

  • Emphasize with your children that their body parts belong to them and them alone. Explain that no one should touch them without their permission. You can practice this when friends, relatives, or acquaintances want to hug your children. You can ask your children, “Do you want to give Auntie a hug?” If they say no, resist the temptation to tell them to be polite and give hugs anyway. This can send the message that they have no control over their bodies. Instead, you can offer safe choices: “Would you like to wave ‘goodbye’ or blow a kiss instead?” If well-meaning friends and relatives feel hurt or offended, explain to them, “We are practicing how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to touch.”
  • Tell your children that if they feel uncomfortable, scared, worried, and upset about how someone touches them, they should loudly and firmly say, “No. Do not touch me there” and tell a trusted adult. See below for tips on how to develop a safety plan.

3. Clearly outline what constitutes as safe and unsafe touch.

  • Talk with your children to discuss what the difference is between safe and unsafe touch. You can turn this into a game by listing types of touch (ex. Hitting, giving high fives, patting on the back, touching private parts at the doctor’s, a stranger asking to touch private parts, kicking, etc) and asking your children to decide “safe” or “unsafe.”
  • Keep your children accountable when you see them engaging in unsafe touch. If they are hitting siblings, for example, explain, “Hitting is unsafe touch. We do not hit.”

4. Encourage and answer questions in an age-appropriate way.

  • Your children are likely to have many questions, especially if they have not learned about safe and unsafe touch before. Provide an open, comfortable space where you respect each question and explain that there are no “stupid” or “wrong” questions.
  • Your children may need additional help differentiating between safe and unsafe touch regarding private areas. For example, they may ask, “What if people see my private parts when we shower at the swimming pool locker room?” You can turn this into a game by giving “what if” scenarios and asking your children to decide whether they are safe or unsafe situations.
  • Avoid graphic details, as these descriptions can frighten, confuse, and scar your children. Instead, use honest, gentle language, such as “private parts” or “under your clothes.”

5. Develop a safety plan.

  • Make sure your children know that if anyone touches them in unsafe ways, it is NOT their fault. Emphasize that if they ever feel uncomfortable, confused, scared, worried, or upset about any type of touch, they should tell you or another trusted adult right away. Explain that they would never get in trouble for doing so.
  • Teach children that if they ever feel uncomfortable with the way someone is touching them, they should loudly and firmly say, “No. Do not touch me there” and get to a safe place. Teach your children how to ask for help when you are not with them.
  • Create a safety plan that includes what to say and do, who to find, and where to go. Practice with your children so they feel comfortable.

How do you talk about safe touch with your children? What resources have been helpful? Please share with us!

Where To Go If Your Child Has Been Misdiagnosed

Parents come to professionals in order to ascertain what is going on with their child.  As a neuropsychologist, the two most common questions I hearmother upset with child are:What is wrong with my child? And How do I fix it?  

A diagnosis will help clarify the symptom characteristics that the child exhibits which in turn will lead to developing the most effective interventions and accommodations for that child within the home, school, and private clinic settings.

Many times parents question the appropriateness of a diagnosis that was given to their child.  It is important to understand that there are several factors that can lead a clinician towards an inappropriate diagnosis or a diagnosis that is not the best fitting based upon the child’s symptom characteristics.

How Assessments Are Conducted:

An evaluation constitutes several hours out of one day of your child’s life.  Many factors impact the child’s performance during the testing, including;

  • Lack of appropriate sleep the night before
  • Being hungry during the evaluation
  • Anxiety over the testing situation

How many of those factors contributed to the diagnosis that was handed to the child?  Second, did the diagnostician receive or ascertain all appropriate information.  Did that individual receive information from the school, past medical records, detailed information regarding the child’s early development?  You are your child’s best advocate.  As much as any diagnostician may know about the responses on the testing, the response to the testing as well as explanations for the testing has to gel with you.  If you are uncomfortable with a diagnosis, ask questions.  Explain to the diagnostician that the behaviors that were observed are not consistent with what is observed on a daily basis.  Work as a team to figure out what lead to the discrepancy between actual behavior and observed behavior/test scores.

If you do not feel that your questions were answered with a diagnosis or are hesitant to follow through with the interventions that were offered, it is then recommended to seek a second opinion.  Oftentimes a second set of eyes, even in the form of reviewing the report/test performance can help solidify the diagnosis that was given or help establish what additional testing/information would be needed.




schedule-a-neuropsych-consultati



How to Use a BOSU for Exercise with Children

BOSU BallA Bosu, also known as a “blue moon” during Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, is a great piece of exercise equipment for adults and children alike. A Bosu helps to work on balance, trunk control, strength, endurance, motor planning and body awareness. A Bosu is flat on the bottom and round on the top; and it can be used either with the flat side down on the floor or with the round side on the floor. Even a more simple body position, such as lying in prone (on stomach) over the Bosu, with your hands flat on the floor, and arms and shoulders supporting your body in an extended position, really helps to work on your upper back and neck strength, endurance, and weight bearing through your upper body. Listed below are several activities to try out at home or at the gym; let the workout begin!

Standing Exercises with a Bosu:

The activities below can be used in a standing position on top of the Bosu, either with both feet on the Bosu, or balancing on one leg to really challenge your balance

  • Balloon volleyball: see how long you can keep the balloon in the air before it hits the ground and before you lose your balance
  • Catch: use a variety of size/weighted balls to throw and catch with a partner; by mixing it up, you will more greatly challenge your center of gravity
  • Crossing midline: have game pieces to the right side and left side of the Bosu, have child use opposite arm/hand to pick-up game pieces reaching across their body
  • Inverted bowling: stand with head between legs, using one hand lightly to support self if needed, and using the other hand to toss/roll the ball towards the pins (you could also create your own bowling pins using plastic cups, toilet paper tubes, empty plastic bottles, etc.)

Yoga Poses with a Bosu:

The activities below incorporate traditional yoga poses on top of the Bosu. To start off, try out the yoga pose on the floor next to the Bosu first, and then build-up to maintaining the yoga poses on top of the Bosu once you are ready to challenge yourself. See pictures below for examples of these positions.

  • Boat: Seated on Bosu, lean backwards slightly and lift legs into 90 degree angle, with arms lifted straight in front
  • Plank: Place both hands or both elbows onto the top of the Bosu, tuck toes under and lift back and bottom towards theceiling,keeping your entire body in a straight line like a table
  • 4 point (contralateral limb extension): Place your right knee onto the center of the bosu, and place your left handonto the Bosu for support; then extend your right arm and left leg, keeping your head and neck neutral with your spine **Then make sure to switch sides, placing your left knee onto the center of the Bosu, and using your right hand for support

  • Airplane: Step onto the center of the Bosu with one foot, resting the opposite foot lightly on the floor until you are ready to lift it off the ground behind you; lean slightly forward, bringing arms out to the side like airplane wings, and then slowly lift the leg (resting on the floor) up behind you

Note: Make sure to have adult supervision when trying these activities, as it is easy to lose your balance. Also, it is always a good idea to have mats or pillows nearby, in case you fall. Lastly, ask your occupational therapist or physical therapist if you have any further questions on how to correctly position your body for the exercises above.

 

Death: How to Explain it to Children

Sad girl with motherMany parents are concerned about discussing death with their children. They try to avoid the topic and some have said it’s one of their most feared topics to discuss with their children. Yet, death is a fact of life and if we aim to help our children cope, we must let them know it is okay to talk about it. Your efforts will help your child through this difficult time and through the inevitable losses and tough times that will come later in their lives. The death of a pet is often a child’s first experience with death. For information about talking with your kids about this, click here. 

How Children Understand Death at Various Ages:

Kids’ understanding about death depends on their age, life experiences, and personality.

Preschooler’s Understanding of Death

Preschoolers see death as reversible, temporary, and impersonal. They may see cartoon characters brush themselves off after being crushed or blown up and these images reinforce this notion. Kids at this age have a difficult time understanding that that all living things die and can’t come back.

5-9 Year Old’s Understanding of Death

Five to nine year-olds typically begin to realize the finality of death and that all living things die, but they do not see death as relating to them directly. They have magical thinking that somehow they can escape death. They also tend to visualize death as being a skeleton, the angel of death, the grim reaper, etc. Some children have nightmares about these personifications of death.

9-10 Year Old’s Understanding of Death

Nine or ten year-olds through teens begin to understand that death is irreversible, that all living things die, and that even they will die some day. Teenagers often become intrigued with finding out the meaning of life and search for meaning in the death. When teens ask why someone had to die, they are not looking for literal answers, but rather are trying to understand.

Remember, children develop at individual rates and have their own personal ways of managing their emotions.

10 Tips on Explaining Death to Children

1. Be honest with them and encourage their questions and expressions of emotions. It is important that kids know they can talk about it (even if you don’t have all the answers) and be sad, angry, scared, or whatever emotions they feel.

2. It is usually easier to talk about death when we are less emotionally involved. Children are exposed to mortality at a very young age: from dead flowers, trees, insects, or birds. Take time to explain these to children. Though it may sound morbid to us, it is an opportunity to help children learn about death.

3. For children under age 5 or 6, explain death in basic and concrete terms. Often it helps to explain it as the absence of familiar life functions. For example, “When Grandma died, she cannot breathe, eat, talk, think, or feel anymore.”

4. Kids often will repeatedly ask the same questions; it is how they process information. As frustrating as this can be, continue to calmly tell them that the person has died and can’t come back. Also, do not discourage their questions by telling them they are too young.

5. Try to answer children’s questions with brief and simple answers that are appropriate to their questions. Answers should be ones they can understand. Be careful not to overwhelm them with too many words.

6. Avoid using euphemisms such as telling children that the person “went to sleep” or “went away” or even that your family has “lost” the person. These explanations can lead young children to become afraid to go to sleep or worried when parents leave the house and “go away”.

7. Using the word “sickness” can be scary to young children. It is often helpful to explain to children that serious illnesses may cause death and although we all get sick sometimes, we usually get better again.

8. Avoid telling children that only old people die. When a child eventually learns that young people die too, they may not trust you. It may be better to say, “Grandpa lived a long time before he died. Most people live a long time, but some don’t. I think that you and I will.”

9. As children get older, they will have more questions and different questions about death. Take care to answer their questions as best you can.

10. When you don’t know the answers to children’s questions, don’t be afraid to say you don’t know.

If you need help, many resources including books, articles, community organizations, and social workers or counselors can provide guidance.

 

Some Books to Help Explain Death to Children/Teens

For preschoolers:

Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley- Andersen Press Ltd.

Granpa  by John Burningham

For ages 5 to 8:

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen

Gentle Willow by Joyce C. Mills.  One of few books written for children suffering an illness from which they may not recover.

For ages 8 to 12:

When Someone Very Special Dies by Marge Heegaard.  A practical workbook rather than a story. This book encourages children to illustrate their thoughts about death and loss through art.

The Cat Mummy by Jacqueline Wilson.  Begins to talk about the death of a feisty girl’s cat, but it then causes the child to think about the death of her mother many years ago.

What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies? By Trevor Romain.  Describes the range of emotions that people experience when a loved one dies and discusses how to cope.

For teens:

Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers by Earl A. Grollman.  A self-help book that discusses in straightforward terms, how to deal with the grief and other emotions caused by the death of a loved one.

The Grieving Teen by Helen FitzGerald.  A fairly sophisticated book that gives advice for teens on how to cope with death, discussing the emotional impact of bereavement and the special needs and concerns of teens during the grieving process.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.  A simple book that doesn’t describe heaven in the literal sense, but rather it establishes that every life has a purpose and that all uncertainties will be cleared up in the end.

 

*North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Inc. (NSPT) intends for responses to the blogs to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; all content and answers to questions should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s). Questions submitted to this blog are not guaranteed to receive responses. No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by NSPT to people submitting questions. Always consult with your health professional first before initiating or changing any aspect of your treatment regimen.

 

6 Ways Aquatic Therapy Can Help Your Child

Aquatic therapy is a wonderful activity for children and adults of all ages. If your child likes the bath and is motivated by water, aquatic therapy is aqua therapygreat way to build their skills and confidence.

Below are 6 ways that aquatic therapy can help your child reach their full potential:

1. Gains in range of motion:

After an injury, such as a broken leg or an ankle sprain, joint movement is often limited by swelling or decreased strength to muscles. Aquatic therapy pools are generally set to a comfortable 80-90 degrees, which is warmer then a normal pool. Using the warm temperature of the water, joints will be able to be more flexible and stretch to new limits.

2. Increased strength:

Once proper range of motion is achieved at a joint, proper strengthening is needed in order for the muscle to perform well at its new length. Using the principle of resistance, muscles are able to gain strength by performing simple actions in the water, such as lifting a leg to the side of the body.

3. Achievement of gross motor milestones:

Children have an easier time completing gross motor milestones, such as rolling, walking and jumping in the water secondary to buoyancy principles. For example, a child with cerebral palsy may learn to roll in the water with the assist of a therapist and the buoyancy of the water. Once the nervous and musculoskeletal system in the child’s body learn how to roll in the water, it will be easier to learn on a mat table in the clinic and then transfer to rolling in bed at home.

4. Increased tactile input:

For kids with sensory processing disorders, the water can provide the deep pressure input that they crave. This deep pressure and overall increased tactile input will help a child who has difficulty processing sensory input transfer into a more organized, calm child.

5. Helps with breath support:

For kids with speech issues, aquatic therapy can be very helpful. By using techniques such as holding their breath under water, deep breathing and by raising their arms up and bringing them down with the resistance of water can all help with proper breath support for speaking.

6. Better social interaction:

Completing gross motor activities can often help to decrease social anxiety. Often times, jumping into the water or swimming across the length of the pool can encourage speaking in children who have anxiety. Kids can also learn a swimming stroke from watching each other, share toys and participate in fun games together in the pool setting.

Aquatic therapy can be a great way to help your child reach their full potential. Not only can it help with gross motor skills, but can also help with speech and social interaction. So, if your child is motivated by the water, encourage them to jump on in!

Have aquatic games you would like to share? Leave us a comment and let us know!

9/11/2001 Lessons for Children

We must never forget what happened on September 11, 2011. We all remember where we were the moment we heard the news. Whether we were woken9/11 Flag up by constant phone calls in Chicago, entering a class at school in Florida, watching the news in Austin or walking the streets in New York City, we all experienced a new sense of fear and unknown. How do we teach our children about September 11? What do we teach them about September 11?

These lessons must be taught at home, through books at an age appropriate level, and in the school curriculum.

Here are 6 tips to remember when teaching your child about the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks:

1) Stay age appropriate.

2) Don’t lie and say it never happened or it was not a big deal to cover up for an uncomfortable conversation, just go to Tip #1.

3) Get assistance through social workers at school or privately who can help your family cope and process.

4) Use art or music as a vehicle of communication for remembering 9-11.

5) Watch out for non verbal signs of anxiety, fear, depression, bullying, or any other red flags for children who may be at risk.

6) Teach them about what a hero is and why we should be thankful for people like Fireman and Policeman.

May we all learn from our past in order to pave a safer path for our future.

 

Why Working at North Shore Pediatric Therapy is The Best Private Pediatric Therapy Clinic Job In Chicago!

Pediatric occupational, speech, physical therapists, social workers, BCBA’s and tutors have many options for work but who can beat these top 26 reasons to work at North Shore Pediatric Therapy?

NSPT Staff Picture

North Shore Pediatric Therapy Staff Enjoying a Staff Outing!

The jobs may be out there for pediatric OT, PT, Speech, BCBA and social workers but there are not too many places that hold their employees in such high regard! Do you just want to work under the clock doing the same old thing day in and day out or do you want to shine and make a difference in the lives of families, help grow a company, feel successful and be happy!

Top 26 Reasons Every Pediatric Therapist Loves Working For North Shore Pediatric Therapy:

1) Committed multidisciplinary pediatric therapy diagnostic and therapy team!

2) Trustworthy and honest management team!

3) Excellent mentorship program!

4) Newbie club for all therapists who have been working at NSPT one year or less!

5) In-house webinars and continuing education!

6) Opportunity to grow personally and professionally!

7) Room to grow and manage!

8) Highest quality therapists surrounding you!

9) Comfortable space with up to date equipment and technology!

10) Competitive salary and benefits!

11) PTO whenever you want it, just be productive and flexible and a team player!

12) Smiles around you all day, positive energy!

13) Solutions-based company!

14) Quarterly team meetings for growth!

15) Weekly “What’s Up” e-mails from the CEO!

16) Super transparent company!

17) Excellent Reputation as proven by our countless requests from news stations, tv networks and even Oprah, to provide interviews and expert advice!

18) Evidence-based treatment!

19) Supportive environment!

20) A growing company!

21) Biggest and Best Therapy Facebook page!

22) Most outstanding therapy blogger team on the internet!

23) Be a part of a marketing team of therapists who knows their product well…kids and families!

24) Top of the line Linkedin communicators!

25) Fun themed days where employees dress up!

26) Staff outings including BBQ’s, Popular Concerts, Bowling, Mani-Pedi’s, Race Car Driving- you name it we do it with our team!

 

Don’t let this once in a life time opportunity slip through your fingers.  Become our next rock-star therapist by applying here!

 

 

How Social Groups Can Help Your Child Navigate Friendships

Making friends involves an array of complex skills, from taking turns, to initiating interactions, considering others’ perspectives, negotiating, problem-solving, repairingKids Group communication breakdowns, and being flexible. For many children, these skills can be incredibly challenging, often resulting in difficulty with making friends.

What are the benefits of social groups?

Social groups are designed to help children develop and practice social skills in a supportive therapeutic setting. Many children lack the necessary skills to navigate peer relationships. Social group therapy directly teaches and practices any specific social skills a child may be struggling with. For example, research has documented that children with language-impairments often have difficulty verbally initiating peer interactions. Research has also well-documented that social group therapy can increase verbal initiation for children with language impairments. Social groups have also been found to improve skills such as:

• Greetings

• Nonverbal communication (e.g. understanding facial expressions)

• Turn-taking

• Cooperative play

• Dealing with confrontation and rejection

• Flexibility and sharing

• Initiating and joining in play

• Building confidence with peers

• Listening to others

• Problem-solving and negotiation

• Verbally communicating with peers

Should my child attend a social group?

Your child should attend a social group if you have any concerns with their ability to interact with peers. Additionally, social groups can also be a proactive way to prepare your child for social settings ahead of time. For example, a “kindergarten-readiness group” is an excellent way to encourage your child’s social skills prior to the first day of school.

Here are a few indicators that your child may benefit from a social group:

• Your child’s teacher often reports difficulties interacting with peers at school

• Your child seems to avoid interacting with other children

• You notice frequent conflicts during play dates or interactions with other kids

• Your child feels afraid or refuses to attend social gatherings (e.g. play-dates, birthday parties)

• Your child has difficulty being flexible during play activities (e.g. sharing others’ ideas, winning or loosing)

• Your child has difficulty joining in play or initiating interactions with other kids

• Your child uses physical actions instead of words to communicate with others (e.g. grabs a toy instead of asking, pushes others instead of verbalizing how they feel)

• Your child has had less opportunities to interact with age-matched peers

Last but not least, trust your intuition. If you are worried about your child’s ability to navigate friendships, then consider signing your child up for a social group. Contact a licensed therapist with questions or concerns to gain more information about whether or not your child may benefit from social group therapy. Social groups can also be an excellent way to prepare your child for school or camp ahead of time.

What is the next step?

If you think your child may benefit from a social group, contact our Family Child Advocate who can answer your questions and connect you with a licensed therapist. For more information, click the Social Skills button below:

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