Experience connection, understanding and support through mindfulness, creativity and care for the caregiver. Parenting for parents of neurodiverse children is both hard and beautiful, but is certainly better done together with other parents who ”get it”.
High school groups are centered on the essential practice of conversation, hanging-out skills, and life-skills. Our adolescent groups are designed to meet the needs of teenagers ages 15-19, for whom the main developmental tasks are:
Developing a clear and strong self-identity around personal interests and strengths to use in peer groups.
Increasing independence and autonomy gradually.
Building skills for transition to activities of young adulthood such as college or employment.
Our groups empower teenage participants to succeed, which helps them create their own self-identity and self-esteem. The group’s focus often turns to peer support as participants share and brainstorm solutions for their social experiences from school and home.
Our innovative elementary school social skills groups focus on the important developmental tasks of 6-11 year olds. The elementary school child gains self-esteem by developing three attitudes about him or herself.
I can succeed socially with friends.
I can handle school and family expectations.
I can manage my feelings and impulses.
These attitudes are built up with social practice through individual/group art projects, game playing, and imaginary play. Developmentally appropriate conversation practice occurs simultaneously as participants share projects and ask questions.
Our middle school groups recognize the difficulty in this transitional time in the young adolescent’s life. We help normalize and support the inner experience of the 11-14 year old. Our goal is to help our clients successfully navigate the developmental challenges of middle school:
Overwhelming and chaotic feelings
Changes - both in physical appearance and personal interests
Belonging to a peer group
Social practice is accomplished through individual/group art projects, conversation practice, game playing, role play, and team-building activities. This socialization may be structured, partially structured, or completely unstructured by the therapist to meet the needs of the group and to challenge participants to master new social skills.
Our Connection Studio is valuable for all students as it develops important skills related to Communication, Cooperation, Emotional Regulation, Empathy Empathy, Impulse Control, and Social Initiation. While a majority of students respond well to basic lessons alone, some will benefit from the additional support of Social Emotional IEP goals written into behavioral plans.
As you develop IEP goals for your child, in partnership with their school, it is important to remember that they must be achievable and measurable. When this is done well, a goal is often referred to as SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound. List clear expectations for what will qualify as successfully performing and achieving a specific goal and include activities that measure and demonstrate each specific objectively
This is a space created just for you, educators. A place for healing. A place of refuge. And a place of connection. Through a carefully crafted set of activities, mindfulness, creativity and reflection, our trained facilitators will take you through a connecting time of reflection and healing as our educators catch our collective breath together.
Our gentle preschool groups celebrate this magical developmental period in which fantasy, imagination, and play reign. In a warm, nurturing atmosphere, playful interaction and peer socialization practice is promoted.
Social practice for 4 and 5 year olds is art and play based. Children learn perspective-taking and empathy emotional self-awareness. They practice self-regulation, flexibility, and use of language to get needs met and have fun with peers
Sara Hutchinson, LMHCA is available to work directly with individual clients and families with neurodiversity in mind. Sometimes families who are in classes with others prefer to see an individual therapist for portions of the work and classes and therapy can work well together for some folks
Social Skills Groups provide an opportunity to learn critical social skills in a safe and fun environment with peers. Groups incorporate evidence-based practices to foster social emotional learning for children and adolescents that can be applied in school, the home, and the community.
There will be weekly meetings each one hour long. Groups will be led by experienced clinicians at Rule and Assiciates who use social skills training, education, and therapy to help others lead more meaningful lives.
When & Where
Dates and times will be announced. Sessions will take place at Rule and Associates in one of our three Bellingham WA locations. Please call for details (360) 734-0615
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
At Rule and Associates, we understand the importance of providing social skills to build social-emotional competencies in children, adolescents, and adults. We also acknowledge that parents and caregivers need strategies to support individuals’ social skills development. Rather than focus on behavioral reduction strategies and what clients, parents, and educators should not do, our approach is to emphasize skill development.
We focus on new social skills or “soft skills”, that are key to success in family, school and professional success. Our groups help children and adults to: