Group Programs for Children



SCUBA SAM’S SOCIAL ADVENTURES

Kids just love it!

Scuba Sam’s Social Adventures is a social skills program designed especially for 4-7 year olds. The program aims to improve your child’s social interactions with both peers and adults.It is facilitated in small play-based groups where children learn and practice a range of social skills.

Children attend 6 x 1 hour weekly sessions facilitated during the school term.


The social skills explored in Scuba Sam’s Social Adventures

Friendships

  • How to make friends and how to be a good friend

The rules of play

  • Initiating and ending social interactions
  • Managing emotions
  • Reading social cues
  • Turn-taking, sharing, listening, playing for fun
  • How to be a good winner and loser

Communication

  • How to talk to friends and adults
  • How to conduct reciprocal conversations
  • How to ask for help

Taking directions

  • Listening to and following instructions
  • Respecting teachers and parents
  • Following rules

 

Download the Suba Sam Social Adventures Brochure
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SECRET AGENT SOCIETY

Introducing the Secret Agent Society

Building the social skills of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) requires a program that meets highly-specialised needs.

Teaching skills such as recognising emotions in oneself and others, expressing emotions in appropriate ways and how to get along with others is essential. Social skills programs used for the general population generally don’t work for children with ASDs.

That’s where the Secret Agent Society comes in.


What is the Secret Agent Society?

The Secret Agent Society is an innovative, evidence-based intervention that uses a suite of games and activities to improve the emotional understanding and social skills of 8-12 year olds with high-functioning ASDs.

This flexible system helps practitioners, parents and teachers address the social difficulties of children with ASDs by teaching children:

  • How to recognise simple and complex emotions in themselves and others.
  • How to express feelings in appropriate ways.
  • How to cope with feelings of anger and anxiety.
  • How to start, maintain and end conversations and play activities with others.
  • How to tell the difference between friendly joking and mean teasing.
  • How to deal with bullying.
  • How to cope with making mistakes.
  • How to cope with novel situations and ask for help when needed.

How the Secret Agent Society is different – and FUN!

The Secret Agent Society creates a fun, engaging and non-threating learning environment for children with ASDs.

The program features a computer game with animated characters and interactive missions that teach children how to recognise and control their emotions and cope with challenging situations.

The game also encourages self-paced learning, provides immediate feedback and minimises the need for real world social interactions while children are learning new skills – a source of anxiety for many with ASDs.

The game is complemented by a range of other strategic play activities. These include Secret Agent card games, ball games, role plays, a walkie-talkie game, foam darts game and board games.

Visual supports include colourful posters, stickers and portable “code” cards that help children learn and apply their new skills in everyday sitautions.

The evidence base

A randomised-contorlled trial showed significant improvements in the social skills of children participting in the Secret Agent Society intervention. Participants showed greater improvements in social skills and emotional control, both at home and at school.

In fact, the social skills of 76% of child participants improved to within the range of typically developing children. Improvements in social functioning were also maintained five months after the program ended.


How it works

The Secret Agent Society has fewer sessions than many other social skills programs, making it practical, cost effective and reducing the risk of program drop-out. Its various components make it easy for practitioners, parents and teachers to encourage and support the child. Features include:

  • Nine weekly group therapy sessions to teach children how to apply computer game content to everyday contexts.
  • Three month and six month follow-up sessions to encourage skill maintenance.
  • Sessions with parents to show how to support children in using their social skills.
  • Weekly tip sheets for teachers to encourage children’s skills in the classroom and playground.

And the benefits?

Improved social skills are likely to:

  • Help build self-esteem in children with ASDs.
  • Improve children’s relationships with parents, siblings, peers and teachers.
  • Improve children’s academic performance.
  • Reduce bullying and victimisation.
  • Offset the development of depression in later years.
  • Enhance the capacity of children to form friendships now and later in life.

 

Download the SAS Brochure

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POSITIVE PENGUINS

Positive Penguins aims to encourage the development of social skills, emotional self-regulation and resilience in children aged 4-7 years.

Similar emotional educational programs are typically linked to positive developmental outcomes with respect to social competence, behaviour, self-esteem, school engagement and academic performance.

The program consists of eight sessions during which children learn a variety of skills that help them:

  • Identify and understand their own and others’ feelings (empathy);
  • Self-calm and relax to cope with unpleasant emotions;
  • Be friendly and caring towards others;
  • Encourage positive thinking;
  • Solve problems when things don’t go to plan.

The program also includes a concurrent program for parents and joint parent-child activity at the end of every session. The parent program is designed to assist parents to understand the skills their child is learning and discuss strategies for incorporating these skills into daily living.

Download the Positive Penguins Brochure

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C.H.O.I.C.E.S

CHOICES is a group program based on cognitive behavioural therapy principles which aims to encourage the development of social skills, emotional self-regulation and resilience in children aged 8-11 years.

The aim of the CHOICES program is to empower children to recognise that they are in control of their thoughts, feelings and actions, and that they can make choices based on more positive coping strategies when they need to.

The program is run over eight sessions. At the beginning of the program, children receive a passport and each week they embark on an interactive adventure where they collect stamps to signify the fictional location visited and the new skills that were learnt.

Download CHOICES brochure

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