Friendations offers social coaching for children from preschool (age 3) through 5th grade. Clients typically include children who struggle with social skills, peer interactions, conversation, appropriate behavior and emotional regulation.
What is social coaching? The easiest way to understand social coaching is to think of it as tutoring for social skills with additional support as the child practices the new skills. It would be like a math tutor who could teach the skills and then go to school to make sure your child does well on their test.
During social coaching, children receive support from a coach at whatever setting presents the greatest need. Common settings where we coach children include homes, preschool and child care centers, community locations and extra-curricular activities. Guided play dates are another method we use to coach children on appropriate social behaviors, peer interactions and conversation skills. Families are included in social coaching through session reviews, progress reports, trainings and coaching.
Clients work with a coach 1:1 to learn and practice skills before moving on to play dates and other social settings. Coaches working with children in preschools or other social settings will employ private pull out sessions to build up skills. Following an intake observation and assessment with the social worker, a program will be developed for each client based on family input and the needs identified during the assessment. Goals for children vary depending on the needs of the child but will be based on The 4 C’s: compliance with adults, conversations skills, control of self, and cooperation with peers.
Friendations summer camp is a 9 week camp for children ages 3 years-5th grade who like to have fun, play games, do art projects and have new and exciting experiences. In addition to all the fantastic camp activities going on, there is a consistent focus on social skills built right into the curriculum. This is an inclusive camp that welcomes children with autism, ADHD, bipolar, sensory processing disorder and other diagnosis that require social skills support as well as typical developing peers. Campers will be in groups with a 1 to 5 ratio of adults to children. Children attending camp must be able to communicate with peers and must be able to manage themselves within this ratio. Campers requiring a 1:1 ratio may bring a dedicated support person with them.
During camp, children will learn how to: follow routines, cooperate with peers, take turns, wait, identify and cope with feelings, celebrate differences all in accordance with the 4 C’s. These skills are built into the opening/closing sessions, games, projects, special events, and field trips. For example, games and activities are often designed to require peer interaction and cooperation to complete. To ensure campers are able to learn and practice the skills being taught, all camp counselors are specially trained Social Coaches who are there to coach children through opportunities for peer cooperation and social skill building. Because of the small ratios, each camper’s particular needs will be taken into account during the day. Any campers struggling during the day will have access to calm down spaces where they can take time to regain composure and practice “calm down strategies” (emotional regulation) whenever they need to. Even meal times are designed to foster interaction and active listening as coaches encourage children to draw in new friends to their conversations.
This year we have an additional week, August 31st – September 4th, called “Back to School Boot Camp.” This one week camp is open to any child regardless if they attended our summer camp. It will help students get “back in the groove” for school.
You can learn more about Friendations and all they offer on their website.