Social Groups

Embrace offers social groups for various ages and communication levels. Kids are grouped loosely by age and by social skill level. Some groups focus on basic interactions and tolerating peers. More advanced groups work on understanding perspective, emotions, and problem solving. Some groups have a specific developmentally age-appropriate theme to assist kids to make connections with peers in natural leisure settings. All of the groups are designed to provide positive social experiences and appropriate and successful interactions with peers. 

Social groups utilize ABA strategies to teach skills, fade prompts, adjust the environment to support learning, and to measure progress. Data is taken on goals for each child during groups and the individualized goals are based on a child's deficits, group goals, and requests of parents to address issues seen in other environments. 

Special attention is placed on reducing anxiety, developing boundaries, generalizing skills, and understanding expected behaviors. E-mails are sent home after each group giving parents a summary of what happened during the group and things to work on at home over the week. 

The following are groups that we offer. Some may not be available during a certain semester due to fluctuation in enrollment. 

Beginner Social Group - The Incredibles:

This program is for children 3-6 years of age who may have some language delays. We are focused on preparing students for group learning and peer interaction by teaching foundational skills including imitation, joint attention, communication skills, play, and flexibility.

Upper Elementary Social Group - The Spectaculars / Fitness Friends:

This group varies based on the level and interests of the students enrolled. Our fitness friends program has been popular with its focus on skills utilized in typical peer settings for this age group: the playground, park, neighborhood, and recess. We focus on communication with peers, initiating and joining play, and problem solving in addition to fun instruction in common athletic and play skills. Many of our kids have not developed an interest in sports, the coordination to participate, or the basics of athletic skills and this creates an widening gap with typical peers. In a given session we may do yoga stretches, work on catching a frisbee, bounce passes with a basketball, kids making up a new version of tag and explaining their rules, dealing with not winning, and play crab soccer. 

Some semesters we may have a secondary group that is transitioning from The Dynamites and they will be the Spectaculars. They will have more routine and structure with practicing social thinking concepts, doing group projects, and slowly working towards the active play skills of fitness friends. 

Advanced Social Group - The Dynamites:

This program is for children 3-6 and 7-10 who have fluent language skills. The older range is some times called Spectaculars or children are shifted into Fitness Friends. We are focused primarily on teaching social thinking, social communication, cooperative play, and group learning skills and flexibility. These students may be preparing to enter a traditional school setting or may already have experience in social groups or schools.

In the Dynamites group, we learn and practice a variety of games to build a repertoire of activities they will be able to engage in with peers outside of group. The games also provide opportunities for practicing taking turns, following directions, using social language and tolerating losing. Other activities include interactive stories and songs and imaginative and creative play such as Legos, doll houses, and play shopping. Dynamites are encouraged to bring items or pictures to share with peers and practice conversation and recall skills.

Beginner Teen Social Group - The Super Stars:

This program is for kids 11-16 who have some language delays. Students will develop communication, leisure, social, and functional living skills in a structured, small group setting. The focus is on expression and interaction and generalization from a 1:1 format into the group context.

Advanced Teen Social Group: Digital Meet-up / Fitness Friends

This program is a social group for high functioning kids ages 11-15 who share interests in video games, watching and making videos, and engaging with other digital media. The focus is on connecting with peers who have shared interest and expanding social skills in a relaxed environment. In the digital group, kids have learned about filmmaking, game design, and animation and always take time to discuss Internet safety. 
Our fitness friends group may also be available for this age group with more of a focus on setting goals, following workouts and healthy routines, and making exercise a fun way of interacting with peers. 

Young Adult Transition Group: 

This group is for ages 18-28 year olds who are high functioning (at least average cognitive and language skills). We have a focus on developing social and independent skills in order to build fulfilling and successful adult lives. We meet in a safe, small group setting discussing topics and actively practicing skills including emotional management, healthy habits, relationships and dating, organizational and money skills, and goal setting.

All of our programs are developed to provide positive classroom experiences and interactions with peers.