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The Children's Socialization Program

By Caroline Burte, M.S., Program Director

» Click here for Caroline Burte's bio (PDF file)

 

Overview

 

An After School Enrichment Program

The Children’s Socialization Program helps children overcome:

  • Difficulties in peer relations
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor self-confidence
  • Under developed social competence
  • Social withdrawal and avoidance of peers
  • Underdeveloped coping skills

 

ThCaroline Burte - Child Socialization Program Directore Children’s Socialization Program provides children with the unique opportunity to socialize, make new friends, learn to believe in themselves, and be recognized as a valued and appreciated member of their group.

 

About the Groups

 

The Children’s Socialization Program is a one-hour group session for children who don’t necessarily require individual psychotherapy but who can benefit from the opportunity to develop and sharpen their social skills and build their self confidence in social settings. Utilizing a group format to encourage peer interactions and the development of social skills, your child will learn the necessary interactive social skills to improve their ability to comfortably interact with peers, adults, and educators.

 

The groups are made up of boys and girls with socialization difficulties. Young children and adolescents between the ages 5 and 12 are placed in age appropriate groups. The focus of the group is on developing social proficiency, self-esteem and self-competence. The application of these skills to your child’s classroom and social settings are an integral component of the program. This is accomplished through specifically tailored and challenging interactive group exercises.

 

Setting

The groups are held at Dr. Burte’s office in a comfortable, family style room for one hour, one time per week in order to enhance generalizability to typical social settings.

 

Eligibility

Any child who is socially challenged may qualify. If you believe your child or student is socially challenged but has not been identified, Dr. Burte may need evaluate the extent and nature of the condition in order to determine which group would best suit your child’s needs. If your child has already been evaluated by their school or an outside agency, we can utilize that information in best understanding your child’s areas of strength and weakness.

 

Fees

The program’s fees are based on the child’s individual treatment plan. The socialization groups sessions conducted and led by Caroline Burte M.S. are $45.00 per one-hour session. Individual sessions with Dr. Burte and psycho-diagnostic testing may be covered by your insurance. However, most children enrolled in the program do not require these additional services.

 

Staff

Our staff consists of a licensed clinical psychologist, and a licensed masters degree level elementary school teacher. When necessary, we liaison with pediatric psychiatrists, school psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and mental health counselors in order to ensure the maximum benefit to your child.

 

It is our hope that your child will see The Children’s Socialization Program as a place where they feel accepted and appreciated by the new friends they’ve made. It is our ultimate goal that, from what they learn and experience at The Children’s Socialization Program, they will bring their new abilities and positive self-perceptions to all their future activities.

 

Benefits

 

In the supportive setting of the Children’s Socialization Program, your child will develop:

 

Social Competence

In order for socially challenged children to comfortably integrate into the social atmosphere in which they are operating on a daily basis, they may need help in understanding and utilizing basic social skills. Learning how to share, give and receive positive feedback, make eye contact and speak assertively are a few examples of the social skills your child may learn in order to interrelate comfortably with others. Young socially-phobic children need to know that separation from their parents can be enjoyable and rewarding.

 

From the sense of self-acceptance and self-worth obtained in the groups, the children gain an understanding that others may also see them as worthwhile. The children learn that they can also express their negative feelings about themselves and be helped to overcome the self-defeating self-perceptions many of them manifest.

 

Self-Confidence

This is a trait which only develops with practical experience. Within the peer pairing exercises and the group experiences the socially challenged child learns that they can interact successfully and become a valued member of a group. The group provides the child with an opportunity to try out new behaviors and take on new roles in a safe, supportive environment. From the group, the child can have the confidence to try out these skills on new social groups outside our program.

 

Friendships

The ability to perceive one's self as likable and desirable as a result of friendships is critical in the development of your child’s sense of worth. Learning how to gain peer acceptance in positive and effective ways will enable your child to have control over their environment.

 

The social skills age appropriate exercises are designed to develop and improve:

  • Getting-along skills
  • Sharing and cooperation
  • Joining in on-going activities
  • Classroom skills
  • Basic interpersonal skills (e.g., eye contact, listening, responsive conversation)
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Story telling techniques (utilizing materials specifically designed for the group)
  • Relating to and working with classmates and/or friends
  • Feeling important and worthwhile’ exercises
  • Goal oriented behavior training
  • Modeling and coaching of social skills
  • Peer-pair communication exercises
  • Role playing techniques (utilizing materials specifically designed for the group)
  • Systematic desensitization
  • Assertiveness training
  • Imagery exercises
  • Self-control procedures
  • Sharing social perceptions skills
  • Coping skills
  • Self-instructional training
  • Decision-making skills
  • Displaying self-confident behaviors
  • Accepting constructive criticism
  • Expressing feelings appropriately

 

Some of the educational skills the children will learn include:

  • Critical-thinking and information processing skills
  • Learning how to participate effectively
  • Problem solving
  • Organizational skills
  • Self-discipline
  • Consequential thinking
  • Retaining information strategies
  • Planning and organizing skills
  • Improving listening, answering and questioning skills
  • Sustained responsible academic behavior

 

Social skills and academic achievement are highly correlated. Every school requires that students demonstrate appropriate classroom skills and appropriate behaviors, but few schools systematically and comprehensively provide training to help students acquire these important skills. We assist students in gaining the fundamental social skills necessary for academic and social success in school.

 

Additional Services

 

  • Family counseling
  • Parenting Seminars
  • Educational consulting
  • Educational and psycho-diagnostic evaluations

 

Parent Involvement

 

Parental involvement is critical to your child’s growth and progress. Upon the initial consultation with Dr. Burte, parents will be provided with a questionnaire in order to assist in observing, monitoring, and documenting your child’s behavior during different situations. Ongoing feedback and communication is encouraged. During regular intervals our program director and psychologist will meet with you to review your child’s progress.

 

Parent Seminars

 

Our seminars will offer you an opportunity to learn more about your child, and share your experiences with other parents from the groups. A variety of topics will be presented, a few of which are listed below. An open question and answer session will follow each evening’s topic.

In addition, you will be provided with techniques to be applied at home to ensure that your child continues to experience the positive benefits gained form learning social skills during the course of the program.

 

Topics for parent seminars include:

  • Overcoming the fear of failure
  • Too much time alone
  • Overcoming negative peer pressure
  • The social skill instructional methods employed
  • Current research on the impact of social skill instruction on your child
  • Teaching cognitive coping skills
  • Dealing with the oppositional child
  • Sibling rivalry and conflict

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