Social Skills Group & Individualized Therapy

Brooklyn Social Skills Groups


Social skills are complex: they include using age-appropriate social language in a variety of contexts as well as interpreting non-verbal cues (such as facial expressions, tone of speech and body language). Interacting with peers necessitates an understanding of how to initiate, maintain, and end conversations and how to play appropriately.

At Brooklyn Letters, we work on social skills, also known as social thinking or social cognition, with children from toddler-age to adolescent. We provide social skills group and even one-on-one instruction. For some students, working one-on-one helps to first grasp these social skills, and for preschoolers, one-on-one helps facilitate their play skills, which is so important for socialization. Individual therapy uses language games, pretend and imaginary play, problem solving, video and role-playing to improvise social scenarios in a safe, fun environment. This therapy often transitions into group therapy. In group therapy there is a structure, however interactions are often spontaneous and explicit feedback is given. Family involvement is strongly encouraged for group and one-on-one sessions.

We incorporate aspects of the Social Thinking curriculum, which involves becoming more aware of a conversation partners’ intent and thoughts. Therapy also addresses conversation skills, such as learning how to avoid conversation “killers,” dealing with interruptions, initiating and maintaining a conversations, as well as how to best work in groups. We work with both quiet and verbose students, and we strive to increase the students’ awareness of expected and unexpected social behaviors. We provide strategies and techniques to improve each child’s social awareness and interaction skills.

Our social skills groups are carefully screened and matched by social/emotional skills, age, children’s interests, and availability. In other words when planning our social skills groups, it’s a dynamic process: we only form a group when the students are matched appropriately. All of our groups are run by a licensed speech language therapist, who has special training and professional experience working on developing social skills. For younger children, we use play-based learning and embed social goals within each activity. Goals are presented in a variety of activities, thereby increasing an understanding of each skill. Parent involvement is a plus, to help carry over what is learned in session.

Insurance
We are considered out-of-network insurance providers: you pay us directly and we submit a monthly invoice to you with group insurance speech therapy codes. Please contact your insurance company to find out if they reimburse for out-of-network group speech therapy. The CPT code for group speech therapy is 92508. The ICD-10 code (as of 10/1/15 ICD-9 codes can no longer be used, please refer to this link for ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion) comes from an evaluation from a psychologist, speech language therapist, etc. If your child was evaluated, we can help you find the ICD-10 code. If your child has not been evaluated, you will not be able to use an ICD-10 code.

Future Groups
We are recruiting children between the ages of 3 ½ years old to adolescent (everyone is matched by age, social/emotional skills, and interests). A licensed speech language therapist and typically an assistant, will run our groups (3-4 students per group). Our next group will be in the fall of 2016, starting in October.

Where:

Brooklyn location, to be determined

How long: 1 session per week, 10 total sessions, each session lasts 60 minutes.

COST: $85-$100 per session, 10 session minimum; we do not accept insurance.

Once we match our potential social skills group on paper, we will then offer a free trial social skills group, for about 5-6 children. If you are unable to attend the free trial session, your child will not be eligible to participate in the social skills group.

GROUPS
Preschool (3.5-5 years old)
Preschool groups learn through play and activity based learning. Groups focus on whole body listening, noticing and interpreting other people’s actions, being in a group, working together, and improving play skills. Preschoolers practice identifying feelings and thoughts in themselves and others. These are all necessary skills for attending school and establishing peer relationships.

School Age
From early elementary and older, the groups cover topics such as: conversing with peers, adults, teachers, understanding indirect language, noticing expected and unexpected behaviors, identifying context clues to interpret how people are feeling and what they might be thinking, identifying the gravity of a problem and the size of a reaction, differentiating between an emotional and a technical response. These are invaluable skills for navigating increasingly complex social interactions, as students grow.

Early Elementary, 6-7 years old
Elementary, 8-10 years old
Middle School, 11-13 years old
High School, 14-17 years old

How do we get started?
Once we determine the social skills group’s logistics, please request a social skills questionnaire (craig@brooklynletters.com). Feel free to fax the completed questionnaire personally to him at 347-772-3448. All information is confidential and will not be shared with 3rd parties without your written permission. Brooklyn Letters will initially match children (based on the questionnaires’ responses, age, and availability), set up a brief parent phone interview, and then have a free trial social skills class with a group. If at least 5-6 children match during the trial session, we will offer the group, once a week (except major holidays etc.).

Due to the high volume of interest in our social skills groups, we are unable to answer over the phone your social skills questions before we match children. If your child is selected for a free initial group screen, we will be more than happy to answer your questions/concerns.

Please email Craig (craig@brooklynletters.com) about social skills groups updates and to be added to his list of parents whom are interested in Brooklyn social skills groups for their children.

We work with children without and with diagnoses, such e.g. autism spectrum (PDD, Aspergers), language processing, speech language delay, social communication delay, ADHD, auditory processing disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, learning disabilities, etc.

We can also run a social skills group in your home (we bring materials, make sure the space is appropriate etc.).

Social Skills Assessment for Young Children $150
We use a standardized empirically validated parent-report questionnaire (optional) to help assess pragmatic language development in 18- to 47-month-old children. This assessment helps identify children with delay or impairment in pragmatic language development (i.e., the use of language in a broad variety of everyday settings and in interaction with other people) compared to children of the same sex and age in months; to identify children whose expressive language skills should be further evaluated with a comprehensive speech and language assessment. We mail you the questionnaire, you fill it out, mail it back to us & we score it, provide you with the results, and schedule a 30 minute phone consultation.

TESTIMONIALS
This experience has been wonderful, for both my son and myself. You’ve offered amazing support, for which I am grateful, and have continuously given me great strategies and suggestions. I feel like I’ve gained more tools in these 10 weeks than I have with various other therapists with whom we worked for years.
-Jackie

Our four-year old son, Kenzie, really enjoyed his play time with Caroline, Sarah and his playmate. We could tell week after week that he was developing good social skills and becoming more verbally expressive. We were right that this would be a good stepping stone to starting kindergarten. He looked forward to his playgroup therapy sessions every week!
-Roland

REFERENCES
Language (sound, vocabulary, play, social language, grammar) developmental milestones (12 months-5 years old): Gard, Gilman & Gorman, Speech and Language Development Chart, Pro-ed, Inc. 1993.
NY State Common Core Standards (Pre-K through 12th grade), including speaking and listening.

PREVIOUS SOCIAL SKILLS BLOGS
Summer 2011: http://brooklynletters.com/2011/05/blog/summer-social-skills-group/
Winter 2011/2012: http://brooklynletters.com/2011/12/blog/kensington-social-skills-group-for-3-4-year-olds/


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