Children's F.E.A.T. presents
Social Skills Groups for Children with Special Needs
Skills Groups for Children with Special Needs Flyer
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"Come play and learn with the horses"
Social skills serve as a foundation for getting along with others. A lack of social skills can lead to behavioral difficulties when involved within group settings (e.g. school), inattentiveness, aggression, difficulty with making friends, negative self image and isolation from peers.
The social skills programs purpose is to enhance social-pragmatic skills through interaction and activities with horses and horse related art projects. The focus is on establishing and improving communicative interactions and play relations among peers. The horses will be used as a tool for emotional growth and learning. The availability of the non-threatening and non-judgmental horse environment to practice newly acquired social skills strongly provides these children with the tools to participate in daily social life.
According to age and ability of the children, there will be many interactive activities from horse leading and brushing to complex challenges involving the horses. These will require a group or an individual to apply certain skills such as verbal and non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem solving to achieve a specific goal. This will improve skills in leadership and work ethic, teach children to take responsibility, and educate them on teamwork. While working on this array of skills, these activities also foster relationships, confidence, and attitude.
Horse related art projects:
According to the age and ability of the children, there will be art projects on different levels, from painting horseshoes and finger-painting a real horse to a multi-step project that incorporates planning, creating, writing about, and presenting an artwork such as a model horse.
SOCIAL PRAGMATIC SKILLS GROUPS
Mission To enhance and built recessive and expressive language, social-communication, motor coordination and functional task completion in an equine-supported peer group.
Vision Through the magic of horses, enhance social competence and pragmatic communication skills in children by bringing together B.f. Skinners "Verbal Behavior", equine assisted therapy and social skills training in a multi-sensory, intimate "stable" environment.
Name: Horsing around
- 1x / week for 60 minutes
- 8 consecutive weeks/session
- Two therapists: Horse specialist ABA coach, Social worker
- 4-6 children of similar age and abilities
- :00-:10 Arrival/Introductions/Set the Intention for the session/Make a Schedule
- :10-:40 Application of lesson through motor activity child/horse interaction
- :40-:55 Didactic wrap up of session during snack and art project
- :55-:60 Clean-up/Review/Good-byes
Themes: Each week is a different "activity with the horses", which will be reinforced though a didactic lesson with snack time and a creative activity.
- Pre-session and post-session social skills checklist
- Both checklists completed by same caregiver
- Participate in language activities, such as speaking, listening, using and understanding body language
- Initiate and maintain friendships through practice with social language skills
- Understand what is expected in a social situation and how to meet those expectations successfully
- Develop a measure of self-awareness, impulse control and the ability to follow directions
- Achieve a sense of competency in stressful situations by making good decisions and learning to control emotions
- Express and meet needs without violating the needs of others
- Weekly 60-minute social skills group, including specific goals
- Eight-week program with consistent group members and facilitating therapists
- A pre- and post-session social skills needs assessment to determine specific goals and achievements for your child
- Didactic teaching material and experiential social and sensory-motor functional activities through child/horse interactions for each session
- Parent education regarding strategies to encourage and facilitate skills attained during group sessions in the home, school and leisure environments
- Use of breath work and other self-regulation strategies