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Super Sprouts Social Group

Super Sprouts Social Group: January Schedule & Activities

January activities for social group participants have been developed to specifically address the deficits outlined in the Vanderbilt TRIAD social assessment completed by both supervising clinicians, and using the parent rating forms.  Each activity is designed to “build” off of the skills addressed the week prior.  This month we will be addressing common skill deficits for the group based on the answers from the assessments.  Skills addressed for January will include recognition of nonverbal body language and social cues, initiation of play and/or conversations, and emotional recognition.

Some activities will require child interview forms to better assist with conversation building activities.  The forms are provided in this packet, along with the date of the activity.  This will help our kids get to know each other on a more personal basis.  We may ask our children who they played with, and we often receive rote responses with limited details on how their day went.  We will be getting to know our friends better to foster healthy peer relationships, social awareness, and accurate recollection of events.

The details of the activities outlined within this packet are designed to give caregivers a clear and detailed idea of what took place during social group.  This will allow caregivers an opportunity to fully engage with their child to ask questions with prompting if necessary to increase their conversation skills, and memory.  I want to thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your child’s social growth and development.  As we enter 2019, we are excited to help our Super Sprouts develop friendships that will give them confidence, security, and higher self esteem levels!

Sincerely,

Genevieve Covington, M.A., BCBA

Co-Founder of Bloom Behaviroal Solutions & Social Group Director

genevieve@bloom-behavioral-solutions.com 

  

January 3

This week we will be addressing emotional recognition skills, peer initiation, and body awareness.  The super sprouts will have to receptively identify an emotion by selecting the appropriate picture card with the appropriate corresponding picture.  Once selected, the child will then need to select which peer has the desired ingredients they want to add to our “stone” soup.  This activity allows them to nonvocally (a more difficult skill) identify a facial expression that corresponds with an emotion provided by a therapist (e.g. “Johnny find the picture where you think the child is surprised).

The array of the cards will be adjusted based upon the child’s skill level.  For example, if a child has a higher level of understanding of emotions, their array may be 8 picture cards, whereas a child that is just beginning to build upon this skill may have an array of only 3.  By each child given a set of “ingredients” they are required to recognize the peer, approach them, ask for their ingredients, make an exchange and “cook” their soup together as a group.  Not only are we addressing emotions, conversations, eye contact, body awareness, but also teamwork.

Below are some questions you can ask your child on your way home from the clinic, at dinner, or bed time.  It’s best to engage with them regarding their group session closer to the event rather than a few days later.

  1. Can you tell me one of the emotions that you recognized in the pictures? What are some things that would make you feel that way? I know I feel (insert your child’s emotion they stated) when _______.
  2. What ingredients did you choose to put in the soup? Why did you choose those ingredients, do you like to eat ____ or was it just silly to add to your soup? (there will be non-play food ingredients to select from to trigger interest and recall)
  3. Did you have fun today? What was your favorite part?  The concept of favoritism is a complex idea that can be very difficult to teach.  Thus, a ‘forced choice’ imbedded within the question is helpful.  For example, was making the soup more fun, or having snack time with your friends.

 

January 10:

This week we will be building off of what we discussed and learned the week prior.  We will review emotion cards during circle time where we present a picture, and the children are asked to raise their hand if they think they know the emotion presented in the facial expression.  For more difficult emotions (surprised, sad without crying) the card will be presented and the group asked to raise their hand if they think the girl or boy in the picture is surprised or angry.  This method not only fosters correct responding, but also utilizes a group approach to answering.

The group will then be divided into pairs where they will make Mr. or Mrs. Potato heads.  The teams will be required to have their Potato Heads emulate an assigned picture card.  The teams will then present to the group their Potato Heads and discuss their attributes (blue mouth, orange arms, red shoes, etc.)  This technique will allow the paired children to be part of a small team to foster interaction, teamwork, and also give them an opportunity to present their project to the group.  By presenting to the group together, they will be required to speak using appropriate audible tones of speech, body orientation to others when speaking, not walking away when speaking to the group, and eye contact.

A Polaroid picture will be taken with each team holding up their Potato Heads.  This will allow the child to have a tangible memory to refer to as a visual prompt when asking questions, and a friendship keepsake they can take home!

Follow up questions to ask your child: (correct answers will be provided to parents completed by their therapists so that caregivers are aware of the appropriate responses to either reinforce or prompt the correct response)

  1. Who was your teammate today?
  2. Do you remember what your emotion your Potato Head was assigned?
  3. What did your Potato Head look like?

 

January 17:

This week our Super Sprouts will again be divide in to pairs and play a modified game of Twister call “Twister Teamwork”.  Each team will be required to select a color and body part using picture cards and instruct their team member to complete the task within a set amount of time.  For example, a timer will be set and “Johnny” has to tell “Janie” to place a foot on red (we will be omitting left and right requirements) and “Janie” has to complete the assigned mission before the time goes off.  The purpose of the timer is to facilitate teamwork.  The instructor will have to offer assistance to point out where the color is, if needed.  There is empirical research that suggests kinesis activities paired with vocalizations fosters language and social developments.  This activity pairs both peer directed vocal instruction with locomotion, thus promoting a multitude of skill acquisition.

The group will then continue to utilize the Twister mat, but will now be playing a game of selection and matching using super hero action figures.  Each child will be assigned an action figure.  Each child will also be given a turn to ask another child for their action figure.  The child does NOT have to provide the action figurine.  This activity is meant to address peer initiation, asking a friend to share, but also to appropriately decline.  Although it’s important to teach sharing, it’s also imperative that we are also teaching children that they have choices, and independent thoughts and feelings.  Although we want to foster following directives from peers, we want to make sure our children understand its ok to not follow what others say.

Follow up questions to ask your child: (correct answers will be provided to parents completed by their therapists so that caregivers are aware of the appropriate responses to either reinforce or prompt the correct response)

  1. Did you play twister today? Was it fun?  Do you remember who your teammate was?
  2. What action figure were you assigned? Did you keep it, or exchange it?  If the child exchanged, ask which one they chose.  Did your friend decide to share, or keep theirs?

 

January 24 & 31:

These weeks (2 part week due to length of activity) we will be having movie night! Our super sprouts will line up to the “theater”, need to exchange their tickets, collect their popcorn buckets and find a seat.  The movie selected will be Disney’s Inside Out.  However, parts of the movie will be muted and then paused for group discussion.  We will be asking questions and having the children complete a “film critique”.  They will be filling out questionnaires complete with multiple answer questions, fill in the blanks, and a “personal thoughts” section where they will provide their opinions on the film, along with why they like or disliked it.

Each questionnaire will vary and tailored to the child’s language and writing skills.  Upon completion of the questionnaires, the children will present a portion of their critique of the film to the group.

 

By playing the movie on silent, it compels the children to identify the emotions of the characters based solely on body language.  It promotes utilization of their imagination, and creativity.  Guided questions like “how do you think Riley feels right now?” “Why do you think Riley would feel that way?”  “Why do you think her name is Joy?” etc.

Follow up questions to ask your child: (correct answers will be provided to parents completed by their therapists so that caregivers are aware of the appropriate responses to either reinforce or prompt the correct response)

  1. What movie did you guys watch today?
  2. Do you have a favorite character (again, a forced choice is a good option here)?
  3. Why is he/she your favorite?
  4. Did any parts of the movie make you feel happy or sad?

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