As you know, every individual has social and emotional strengths and weaknesses. FriendSmarts excels at reinforcing strengths and treating areas of social skill weakness so that each child can make and keep friends more successfully. While many middle school aged students need a 12 week treatment program, some students seem to have good basic social skills but struggle in specific areas of social interactions. To address these unique needs, FriendSmarts is launching a new program for those middle schoolers who have specific social skill weaknesses in the area of problem solving or social self confidence. A full description of the new program is available on the attached flyer and at www.friendsmarts.com
Who will benefit most from each of the new 5 week FriendSmarts program? The "problem solving" group is designed to help those who appear to be managing their social relationships well but who struggle with peers during group projects or competitive activities. Children whose social strengths seem to deteriorate in the face of the stress of performance will learn and practice tools to help them interact more effectively. The "social self confidence" group is designed to help the shy or anxious middle schooler to interact more confidently with peers. Please note that the most appropriate youngsters will not have a spectrum diagnosis nor will they demonstrate behavior problems in the classroom. I will get written permission from parents so that we can talk before the student is enrolled in the 5 week program.
What about the "old" FriendSmarts 12 week program? FriendSmarts is continuing to provide the familiar 12 week social skills program for children in third grade through high school. This program offers an intense social skills treatment program for children with more widespread social skills needs. As you may know, about half of the children attending FriendSmarts have no diagnosis, while the other half have the diagnosis of AD(H)D, LD, auditory processing disorder, anxiety, or Aspergers. My initial consultation with the child and parent(s) allows me to asses the child's incoming social strengths and weaknesses and place them in a group with similarly matched, age and gender appropriate peers. The primary difference between the "old" and the "new" FriendSmarts program is that the familiar program addresses multiple social skills needs over 12 weeks and the new program focuses on a particular social skill over 5 weeks.
How can you refer a student, ask questions or learn more about FriendSmarts? Juliet Melamid, LMFT, is available to answer questions or discuss a possible referral. She can be reached at 650-988-8855 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website www.friendsmarts.com.
Thank you very much for supporting children's social and emotional growth.
Juliet Melamid, LMFT