Special Needs

Social Group question

DS's aba therapists have asked to put DS in a social group with 2 other boys who have ASD and all three therapists will be there. I am a bit jealous that I will not be able to watch all the sessions because I have to work and DH or our therapist will be there to provide transportation if need be for DS to their new ABA office location 30 minutes away. I feel so out of the loop.

For now, DS will be the only ASD child that will have a social group at daycare one day a week with mainstream children. I am not jealous of this situation.

Please share your experiences of social groups here.
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Re: Social Group question

  • edited October 2013
    We've really liked our experience. Ours is ninety minutes two times a week. It works a lot on play skills as well. In the first half they do very basic games with the kids like sitting in a circle and singing a song while they see a toy then pass it to the child next to them. If one of the kids say starts putting toy cars down a slide they will encourage the other kids to watch and mimic. In our experience they've definitely followed the kids lead. In the second half of the class they switch to a more classroom setting. They sit at a table next to each other and do a few seated activities based on preference. They have a very brief circle time, snack, and were done. I've definitely noticed positive changes. Dd definitely is more socially aware of peers and will join an activity with peers assuming its preferred. She will notice her peers and mimic/parallel play next to them without prompting. She will use words instead of whining or hitting when a peer takes a toy from her.
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  • Our experience has been great, too. DS went three times a week for almost 3 years (3 years up to kindy), about 3 hours a day. Like you, I was at work, so was completely out of the loop. I don't think it was unusual, though, as most of the kids were just pulled from their daycare rooms to attend this class. The teachers/therapists would send notes home periodically explaining what they were going to be working on. There were about 6 kids, two therapists (OT/ST), and a teacher who specialized in ASD. There have been a lot of positive changes. When DS "graduated" he was dubbed the "leader" of the group, and was well-versed in the ways of the room. It was like a mini-preschool room. They had introductions (with games that required reciprocation from peers), then they'd play a social game like Simon Says, then learn about a topic for the day ("leaves" or "apples" or whatever) but everything was designed to get the kids to interact. Towards the end of DS' time there they picked up the Michele Garcia Winner curriculum which all the kids really seemed to enjoy.

    This group was really a lifesaver for us. In addition to getting the ST/OT that DS really needed (social with peers, as opposed to 1:1 with an adult)- it also allowed us to get a lot more therapy without paying OOP. All in all he had about 10 hours a week in this setting, but we were only charged 2 copays (along with regular "daycare" fees). They are able to do this with multiple kids. Our insurance only covered 3 hours a week so this way DS got a lot more.

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  • edited October 2013
    I want to be in a social group with the other moms! Sounds like fun! I want DS to have friends!
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  • DD just started about a month ago. She attends two a week, both 90 minutes. One is with 10 kids, 8 typical, one with speech delay and she has ASD. The other is with 4 other little girls her age, all with special needs. I like both and she seems to enjoy both. She seems to do slightly better in the smaller group. More therapists, more direction. She normally will not play with girls but does in this group lol! They have been working on things like how to initiate play, how to play with dolls, etc.
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  • Oh and I forgot how great it is to have the speech therapists there in the actual setting. The 1:1 is great but putting it into practice is a whole other thing.
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  • d.fd.f member
    edited October 2013
    We're relatively new to social skills groups but DS is in two.

    One is facilitated by an SLP and an OT. we're on week 4 or 5 of 12 weeks (can be repeated). It's an hour away (so that's fun). I stay and watch. There are 5 boys age 4-6 years old. They start with a sensory activity in the hall then go into a class roomish environment, they each say there name and say how they are feeling while sticking their printed name and the visual of the feeling on a board. The facilitators encourage back and forth convo. Next the work on the concept for the day (personal space, winning/losing, taking turns/ talking to a friend, talking to a new friend. Are some they've done). There are sensory activities built in. Finally they eat a snack. The OT and SLP have developed their curriculum over time and cater it to the needs if the class. Each one ins 90 minutes.

    The second social skills group is at school and part of DS's IEP. It's 30 minutes a week and I have not observed, it's taken directly from Michelle Winner Garcia's curriculum and facilitated by the school psychologist. iIRC. There are 2 Kindergarteners, 1 first grader and 1 3rd grade helper.

    DS 09/2008

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