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Kid Talk with My Pals

A unique program

Kid Talk with My Pals is a unique social skills program designed and developed by a group of certified speech and language pathologists with extensive experience in speech, language and social skills. It is a precision-focused program for children needing help with their speech, language, & communication skills in a group social setting. Kid Talk is unique in that it is designed, taught and led exclusively by Speech and Language Pathologists. Your child is placed in a group of their peers that is individualized for their needs. Children are mentored by professionals who know and understand their particular challenges.

Kid Talk with My Pals: Introduction & Overview

  • Kid Talk with My Pals, or Kid Talk, is a year-round social/communication and play skill development group for children ages 4 through 12. Some unique aspects of our program include:
  • Separate curriculums & activities designed for preschool-kindergarten, elementary school, and upper elementary to early middle school levels. Social skills are developmental, and these age groups have different needs.
  • Staff with special understanding into the communication/language skills needed for social-communication, interaction, & play. We have a strong focus on using language (verbal & nonverbal) functionally to interact, problem solve and share feelings with friends.
  • Strong emphasis on child-driven learning. An important part of Kid Talk is the feedback, encouragement, and support given by peer buddies. We teach children to teach each other and respond in positive ways to their pals.
  • Creation of “individual scenarios” tailored to your child’s specific goals. We will create opportunities during “free time” or “free play” to challenge your child & allow us to give immediate guidance “in the moment.” We help children problem solve & “talk it through” during real, socially challenging situations.
  • Movement between groups, as appropriate, to accommodate for your child’s growth and changing needs.

Other unique features of the format include:

  • Individual interview process and a trial session, at no cost, to establish the “best fit” for your child.
  • Open start time. Children may start at any time during the year. This helps to reinforce skills such as saying goodbye, keeping “in touch” and meeting new friends. Adapting to these changes is a natural part of socialization & life.
  • Individualized goals for each child (in addition to group goals). These are established by the lead speech pathologist, parents, and, when appropriate, other professionals in your child’s life.
  • Six-month progress reports for each child to evaluate progress and continued needs.
  • Rating scales for parents, teachers and therapists to measure effectiveness.
  • Friendship roster to help foster play dates. Parents may enter their phone number, address and information about their child on the roster. Children or parents may call each other to set up get-togethers.
  • Six-month follow-up after discharge to determine retention of skills and assist parents in issues they may currently be experiencing.

Kid Talk with My Pals: Goals & Objectives

Kid Talk is designed to help children and adolescents:

  • Build and maintain friendships & relationships
  • Improve ability to participate in family and school social functions
  • Foster interest in and ability to engage in community activities with family, peers, & community members
  • Develop and use overall communication skills and strategies (verbal and nonverbal) as well as improve play & social interaction

 

Kid Talk with My Pals: Teaching Methods

We believe learning is best accomplished by doing. We also believe that visually cued instruction is essential to teaching social skills. Visually based instruction makes social training more concrete and helps a child attend, organize and understand social expectations. We believe that a program must address social-perspective taking to be effective. Lastly, we believe that social learning should be sequential, linked to community goals and consistent with an individual’s functional and relevant needs.

Our structure & philosophy:

We believe social skills must be broken down into “digestible” and concrete steps for teaching. Four hands-on components include:

  • Teaching: a social skill or set of skills
  • Practice: through modeling, role-playing, puppet play
  • Reinforcement: through clinician and/or peer feedback, video feedback, and positive shaping of behavior
  • Self-Discovery: through actual experience with peers in group activities, conversation, play, and outings

Accordingly, Kid Talk makes use of:

  • Charts and graphs to teach social skills, “steps” within social skills, & strategies for achieving specific goals
  • Children’s literature and social stories
  • Video playback of sessions for children to review situations, evaluate behaviors and learn through watching themselves and their pals
  • Specialized CD ROMs that demonstrate and teach social skills. Children evaluate others’ performance during videotaped social situations (e.g., at school, at a birthday party).
  • Role playing and, for younger students, puppet play, to act out and reinforce social skills
  • Discussion of feelings, thoughts, ideas, & wishes of others and how they may differ from one’s own perspective.
  • Games, projects and activities involving fairness, teamwork, cooperation, and planning
  • Creative & sociodramatic play: We teach kids how to play. We work toward improving actual play (imaginary/pretend play) as well as ability to play with others (cooperative play)
  • Structured problem solving & group discussion
  • Conversation and Snack time: a great time for helping & sharing with friends.
  • Parent feedback: Parents may let us know about social problems occurring in their child’s week. We use these situations, in a general way (without identifying who it relates to), to discuss & role-play.
  • Free Play & Free Time where social themes and goals are videotaped, reinforced, and worked on “in the moment.”
  • Community outings & play dates at the home of peer buddies
  • Positive praise and positive peer feedback to reinforce all appropriate & successful behavior
  • Use of socially relevant themes: Depending on age level & experience, topics may include dealing with teasing and bullies, being bossy, taking an interest in others ideas & interests, being flexible, and more.
  • Parent training in social skills: This includes handouts & specific suggestions for carryover of skills at home, school & in the community.

 

Kid Talk with My Pals: Structure

Mentors:

Licensed speech/language pathologists assisted by trained speech assistants

Members:

Peers grouped according to age, ability, & interests. For children & adolescents with language difficulties, learning disabilities, excessive shyness, and autism, Asperger syndrome & related disorders.

Size:

3-6 peers with two adults

Program Length:

Typically 6 months to 1 year, depending on needs.

Schedule:

Once a week for 60-75 minutes

 

Kid Talk with My Pals: Who May Benefit?

Children & adolescents who may need assistance in such areas as:

  • Greeting, turn taking, sharing
  • Developing & expanding play skills & interests
  • Making & keeping friends
  • Joining in others’ play
  • Winning & losing
  • Initiating interactions in varied & appropriate ways
  • Developing successful conversational skills
  • Using language to problem solve, negotiate and “work things out”
  • Talking about feelings & understanding feelings of others
  • Being flexible & respecting differences
  • Showing interest in others’ preferred activities
  • Dealing with prominent social issues such as being bullied, being teased, discriminating between fact vs. opinion, understanding & using humor & idiomatic expressions.

 

For additional information about Kid Talk with My Pals or to enroll your child call:

Lynne Alba at 310.856.8528 x102 or
e-mail at lynne@childspeech.net

   

 
 
 
 

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