The children were on an early easter break from school, and I took that time to do something that I've been thinking about and planning for a while now. "Camp Easyspeak" comprised of 2 groups, one social skills group for children with ASD (higher functioning), and a phonology group.
The social skills group was more of my pet project and I was beside myself with happiness to see it actually come off perfectly. This group consisted of 4 boys ages 5-7, who came on Thursdays from 9-11 am. The phono group came on Fridays 9-11 am, and consisted of 2 boys and 2 girls ages 3-5.
For both groups children participated in teamwork activities, arts and craft and free play, working around certain themes.
The phono group went through cycles of some of the sounds they were doing with me in therapy, around an Easter theme. We ended up with some interesting projects like the one below: "Attack of the eggheads!"
I wanted to share more with my readers on my social skills group, and recommend it to any therapist. I was so impressed with how well the boys worked together on all the activities. They were completely different children compared to their 45 minute individual sessions.
I wanted the parents to be fully informed about what was happening at the group, so I gave them a handout that showed what we were working on and what language/social skills areas the task focused on. An example of this can be viewed here.
I made every action and interaction a language/social skills task, from putting down bags, to greetings, to eating snack, to clean up time. There were 2 teams, who were responsible for different tasks around the camp area. We were set up outside on the deck, which provided lots of space for them to move around and an outdoor atmosphere that wasn't too distracting.
One of the most effective tools was my behaviour chart, which had visuals for appropriate behaviours, and gave points for these behaviours. Every 4 ticks got a sticker, which worked very well , as the boys were trying really hard to get their Spongebob stickers. The visuals for the behaviour chart I found at www.sparklebox.co.uk, one of my favourite sites for FREE language and behaviour resources.
Our 2 main activites were "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" sequencing activity, which also incorporated listening for details and 'wh' questions; then our following directions task to make an easter bunny. These were lots of fun and a lot easier than I had expected. Some of the boys really stepped up and offered help to the others, and it was nice to see some asking for help. They made me proud.
All of the parents were very pleased with the groups, and have been asking when the next one is planned for :)
Try it out at your clinic and let me know how it goes :)