Every other Tuesday night, Cali attends a play group therapy. She is the youngest of the group and the only girl. The three other boys are ages 5-6. I wasn’t necessarily hesitant about the age difference. I figured we would give it a few weeks and see how she adapted. The first week was a little rough. Not staying with the group, having her own agenda, and throwing a couple of fits was a common theme throughout the first session. Session two was markedly better. Today, we are in round two of play group therapy. The therapy runs for about 12 weeks and starts up again after a short break in between. Cali now talks about one of the boys, we will call him “B”, every other Tuesday when she knows play group is happening later in the evening. Going from not staying with the group, to talking about and being excited to see her “boyfriends” makes me happy to say the least:)
Therapy was on the schedule for this past Tuesday. Circumstance changed the day, time, and place, so Tuesday night play group was now going to held on the following Saturday. This was ok though because it gave us more time to prep Cali with a social story Katie, one of the therapists, had made for each child. You can learn more about social stories in a previous post I have written. This small and simple therapy tool words wonders for teaching social behaviors and many, many other concepts. This particular story was on Talking With Friends. Katie’s idea was to have the kids read through the story before coming to the group session. Then, when the kids arrived, they would read through the story once before and make much of the session focused around this concept of talking with friends. Here is Katie’s story…
Talking with friends can be a lot of fun.
When I talk with friends, it is nice to take turns.
When my friends talk, I FIRST listen, WAIT until they finish, and then tell them what I am thinking.
Knowing I was going to post this little gem of a story, I asked Madi if she could email me a quick description of how they utilized this story within the group session. Here is what she had to say (keep in mind her response relates directly to the social story, but also how Cali responded in general with the session, regardless of the social story).
Here, in a nut shell, this is what we did with the social story that Katie wrote. We talked about how to take turns while talking with friends…we talked about when other friends are talking we need to stop talking and wait for our turn. Other things we practiced at the museum were:
1. Staying with the group/following a leader- we had the kids take turns being the “leader” and everyone else had to follow what they wanted. If they wanted to do something different, they would have to ask the leader first.
2. We had great conversations about the exhibits (mostly elicited by Katie or me) which involved turn taking and waiting.
3. For Cali specifically, she really struggled with the sensory overload of the sand and water that we played with. We practiced taking breaks when she got upset and we practiced reengaging with the group.
There were a lot of other things that came up, but these were the main things we addressed. Hope this helps!
*If you would like a copy of this social story, leave a comment below and I will email you one as soon as possible.