Superkids has found a new home at The
Southfield Center for Development in
Darien! For information on
their September programs,please call
or go to southfieldcenter.com/superkids
Preschool Programs | GROUPS: Groups for children in Preschool | Groups for young school aged children (5-7 year olds) | Groups for older children and teens (ages 8 and up) | Individual Therapy | Summer Program | Parent Coaching | School Consulting Services | How to Begin | Frequently Asked Questions
Our social skills groups run from September through June in two 15 week sessions. Each weekly group is one hour in length and has a maximum of six participants facilitated by two therapists. For more details concerning our approach see "our philosophy".
The groups are designed to help children with social issues related to diagnoses such as, but not limited to, ADD/ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, Non-Verbal Learning Disability and Sensory Integration Disorder, or for children experiencing emotional stressors that affect their social functioning.
In our efforts to expand this understanding to everyone in the child's world we offer parent coaching, along with or as well as support and psycho-education for siblings. As practitioners who see these children in a small, safe environment with their peers, we often have important information that we are pleased to share with other professionals and school personnel.
Communication with parents is a key component of our groups. Weekly e-mails are sent to parents to keep them informed of what their child is learning.
The most important part of the preschool years is learning how to get along with others. Three-to-five year-olds are constantly learning lessons about what is acceptable behavior among age-mates. At SuperKids we teach young children about the positive and negative consequences of different actions or behaviors, how to interpret facial cues and body language, to regulate their emotions and learn more about how emotions effect everyone.
We offer a variety of services for children who may be too young or who may not be ready for group (we begin our groups for children ages 4 and up).
We offer school observations for preschoolers to help determine what services your child may need to meet their social needs. Observations are typically 2 -3 hours and include observing some structured and unstructured time in your child's school day. A report and/or meeting with the therapist who did the observation will be scheduled in the days following the observation. A plan will be discussed at that time about how to proceed to best meet your child's needs.
We also offer social skills facilitation in your child's school setting or home. Social teaching can be individualized to your child's goals and follow-up exercises can be developed for use in the home.
We offer parent coaching for children of all ages, but we find this service particularly helpful for parents of young children since parent interventions can often lead to the most change in a family dynamic. Coaching sessions can be scheduled on an as-needed basis to address behavior issues in the home or specific social skills challenges.
Groups for children in Preschool
Our preschool groups are structured to include circle time where social skills are broken down into small steps and social thinking is taught in dynamic and interactive ways. The therapists then structure the remaining time to reinforce what was taught in circle time; this may include a creative arts activity and play that calls into use the skill that was just taught about. For instance, if the group is learning about sharing then an art project will be introduced where children have to share materials and space and each time they are successful at this the therapist will give them visual, auditory, concrete, specific positive feedback. As the group progresses, all of the lessons are incorporated into the children's goals. Other skills that are typically taught in the preschool groups are listening, waiting, tuning in, taking turns, communicating, compromising and emotional regulation.
Groups for young school aged children (5-7 year olds)
Our groups for young school aged children include structured time and unstructured time. Typically in the structured time the leaders are breaking down and teaching the different parts of a social skill. For instance, if the children in the group need to learn how to "tune in" the leaders will teach all the aspects of that skill: listening position (including looking towards the speaker, quiet hands and quiet body), listening, waiting, and asking questions. Leaders will present different ways for the children to learn this information; possibly through puppet play, role play, or an art directive. During the teaching and practicing of social concepts, the leaders determine a child's short-term and long-term social goals and develop strategies to address these in the group sessions. These goals will be displayed and a child will receive visual, positive feedback when they demonstrate the skill.
The group leaders also offer some less structured time, usually the last portion of the group time. This is an important part of our groups, as many of our children have more difficulty navigating social environments that are less structured (i.e., playground, recess, lunch). During what we call "free time" we have only one rule: the group members can play anything they want to as long as they play with someone else. The group leaders get a chance to see if children can initiate play, can compromise, can deal with conflict during play, and can end play while free time is going on. The leaders facilitate this process and offer on-the-spot feedback that helps children understand how they may be able to approach their peer interactions in a more successful manner.
Groups for older children and teens (ages 8 and up)
The group experience for older children, pre-teens and teens varies to meet the child's developmental needs. There is generally a structured part to group, when the leaders work on breaking down the skills, teaching the skills, and eliciting social information from the group. As the child gets older and needs to work more on self-advocacy skills, we expect the group members to work together to set goals and help structure the group with the leaders to meet their social goals.
There is also less structured time during the group when the leaders can observe how the group members take in information and apply it to social situations. During this time the leaders get a chance to observe if children can initiate play, can compromise, can deal with conflict, and can end play successfully. This helps the leaders refine the goals of the group members and then teach and facilitate the skills necessary to address these goals.
School year groups meet one hour a week for 15 weeks. Continuing clients will receive this information in a pre-registration e-mail before the next session begins - clients are automatically enrolled in the next session unless we are notified otherwise.
We offer individual therapy for children and teens. Individual therapy is usually recommended for:
- Children and teens who are not ready for a group experience
- Children and teens who are in a group, but need help processing what they are learning in group with their peers or who are experiencing issues that would not be adequately addressed in the group format
- Children and teens who are dealing with understanding their own neurological challenges
- Children and teens who are experiencing anxiety and need to focus on anxiety reduction rather than social skill development
- Social Functioning Assessment: This is an hour long, interview with the parent regarding their child's developmental, medical and social history. Parents also rate their child on the Social Skills Rating Scale, a norm-referenced scale to assess social strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, and separately, the child will be meeting with a SuperKids therapist. This information will be used to tailor the SuperKids experience to each child's specific needs. The resulting report can also be used for educational planning purposes. This is a different assessment than the intake interview involving our psychologist, Dr. Beitel. This assessment can be done instead of the intake interview if you are interested in having a more formal, in-depth assessment of your child that produces a report.
- Psychological Testing: Psychological testing is an important way to learn about a child's strengths and weaknesses. We assess cognitive functioning, academic achievement, attention/executive functioning, and social cognition with standardized tests. Testing includes an intake interview with parents, approximately five hours of face-to-face testing with the child, and a two-hour feedback session with parents. Test reports are written within two weeks of the last date of testing. Our psychologist, Dr. Beitel, is available to atttend school meetings as needed.
- The fee for our Psychological Testing varies. Dr. Beitel will provide an estimate after discussing your child's needs.
Join us from Monday, June 25 - Thursday, August 2 for our Super Summer Kids program! This is a unique intensive social skills group experience for children who have difficulty connecting with peers. Participants will be given opportunities to learn new skills while having fun within a safe and supportive environment. We offer a 3:1 child/therapist ratio and small group size. Every aspect of the child's group time is social-skills oriented. Our experience has been that during the summer, when anxiety is lower (no school!) they have an opportunity to take in more skills in our intensive program.
Groups meet twice a week for 1 hour (grades pre-K through 2nd grade) or 1 1/2 hours (3rd grade and up). Please call for schedule and fees.
Individual Social Skills Coaching is also available on a once-a-week or twice-a-week basis. Call us for more information.
We offer parent coaching for parents of children of all ages. Coaching sessions can be scheduled on an as-needed basis to address behavior issues and social skills issues. Parents are given specific directives and/or concrete tools to try at home. Once those directives and tools are tried the therapist can make changes and in this way an individualized program is developed for your child and the family as a whole.
Common issues addressed in parent coaching sessions:
- Tantrums and/or out control behaviors
- Understanding your child's special needs
- Moms and Dads parenting "on the same page"
- Helping children take responsibility for their behaviors and decisions
- Helping children become more cooperative and less oppositional
- Homework struggles
- Helping parents provide a more "structured" home environment
- Limit setting at home that helps lead to positive social skills outside of the home
- Parenting a child with poor communication skills
- Parenting an anxious child
- Helping your child develop skills for eventual independent living
The purpose of our teacher and paraprofessional trainings is to address the need for school personnel to better understand the socially-challenged child. With the rise in numbers of special needs children in the mainstream classroom the need for effective approaches to learning and behavior management is great. Through our work providing after-school social skills groups we have found that educating everyone involved in these students lives creates an environment where students feel understood and teachers and staff feel empowered.
We can tailor what we present to the needs of a particular school's staff and time allotment. For example in a 12-hour training we can cover the following subject areas:
- Understanding the neurology, behavior and needs of the child with social skills deficits (Asperger's Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disability, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Tourette's Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).
- How to create a classroom climate that effectively addresses the needs of these students from the start of the school year (elementary school).
- Developing a toolbox of strategies and interventions to address behavior and social skill difficulty. This is done in an interactive format to help each teacher develop his/her own style. Teachers and staff are asked to bring real life situations from the classroom to the workshop so they could leave the workshop with concrete strategies to immediately implement.
Workshops covering some of the above-mentioned subject matter in a shorter period of time are also offered. An additional part of our program is follow-up supervision on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to help the staff implement and fine-tune the skills learned.
For the paraprofessional who works with one child, individualized training specific to the child they work with can be offered. This would entail a one-hour observation of the child by SuperKids staff followed by coaching sessions to help the paraprofessional become more effective in his/her work. SuperKids can train the paraprofessionals to teach social skills on an ongoing basis throughout the school day, using well-researched techniques.
Initially, we do a phone interview to get some preliminary information about your child. If it looks like we have an appropriate group, we then conduct a 45-minute intake interview to give your family an opportunity to meet us, see the physical space where groups take place and address any concerns you have. It also gives us the opportunity to assess your child's needs and determine which of our groups provides the best "fit".
We can be reached by calling us at: 866-944-9558, or by sending us email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact us for further information about any of our programs, or visit our FAQs.