FRIENDSHIP GROUP PROGRAMS
GROUP ESSENTIALS MELBOURNE provides group based interventions for children and adolescents in Fitzroy North. Melissa Bryan, a Child and Adolescent Occupational Therapist, Robyn Low, Occupational Therapist, Sue Wells, and Karen Story, both Child, Adolescent and Family Therapists. All have many years experience in areas such as child and adolescent work, paediatrics, parent work, family therapy and mental health.
WHO are the groups and/or individual sessions for?
The group sessions are designed to assist children and young people, who may be experiencing one or more of the following difficulties:
• difficulty making or keeping friends
• difficulty negotiating conflict in a helpful and safe way
• low self esteem and low self confidence
• difficulty being assertive and communicating clearly
• trouble playing games with others and following rules
• wanting to have more friends but not knowing how
• difficulty regulating their behaviour or feelings – anxiety, anger and worry.
GOALS of the Friendship Group are to:
• help children and young people recognize and expand their social skills by using the group as a place to practice and explore a number of options and choices they have with friendships
• facilitate emotional self-expression, assertive communication and confidence
• provide ‘fun’ co-operative group experiences, with lots of sensory-motor and play activities for younger children and discussion, coping strategies and problem-solving.
HOW? The groups are run by 2 Therapists/support staff. A group session consists of a 60-90 minute group with a small group of children/young people. The groups consist of some structured activities – ‘joining in’ games, ball games, drawing, music, art, play, relaxation, games and some talking/discussion activities. Role plays and videoing are also used for practicing and experiencing new skills. Assertive communication and self-regulation is promoted. Parents do not attend the sessions, but receive regular verbal feedback. The program also provides a written summary at the conclusion of program detailing your child’s/young person’s strengths/weaknesses and recommendations for home/school.
WHEN? Holiday Friendship Group programs are held at Merri Creek Primary School, corner of Ida St and Miller St, Fitzroy,
5 minutes from Crisalida.
Dates for 2011 holidays are
SUMMER HOLIDAYS: January Tuesday 18th , Thurday 20th, Tuesday 25thth (*PG), & Thursday 27th
EASTER HOLIDAYS: April Tuesday 12th, Thursday 14th, Tuesday 19th(*P.G), Thursday 21st
MID-YEAR HOLIDAYS: July Tuesday 5th, Thursday 7th, Tuesday 12th(*PG), Thursday 14th
SEPTEMBER HOLIDAYS: September Tuesday 27th, Thursday 29th, Oct Tuesday 4th(*PG), Thurs 6th
Long term groups are also held during term (Grade 5/6 group on Monday evenings and a Girls Group on a Tuesday afternoon, both run fortnightly).
To register: Please fill in a Group Registration Form (click to download Form 6A)
SOCIAL GROUPS FOR TEENS WITH ASPERGERS
What is the purpose of the group?
The purpose of the group is to provide fun opportunities for satisfying peer interaction, friendship, belonging and social learning amongst adolescents and young people with Aspergers Syndrome. Young people joining the group will be asked to identify personal goals for their involvement in the group, for example: being able to begin and hold a conversation with another young person, being able to join in with others even if challenging to do so, etc. The facilitators will assist members to achieve their desired goals.
Who is the group for?
Young people between the age of 13 and 20 years who have been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome who have been identified by their parents/carers as requiring opportunities for social interaction with age appropriate peers and/or social skills development and who are deemed to be appropriate for group membership. Many adolescents and young people struggle with the challenges of adolescence. These challenges can be even more difficult for those with Aspergers syndrome.
What will the group look like?
The group will have between 6 and 8 members. It will run on a fortnightly basis over the duration of a school term during which time it will be a ‘closed’ group and no new members may join. At the end of the fixed period, and usually after a break such as school holidays, a new reformed group will commence with new members and possibly some old members as well.
The group will last 90 minutes. This will include a 15 minute refreshment break.
Saturday fortnights during term, 11.30-1pm.
Who will facilitate the group?
The groups will be co-facilitated by the following people:
• Melissa Bryan and Robyn Low, Accredited Child and Adolescent Occupational Therapists
• Jane Maher, Nurse Therapist
• Matt Currie, Group Therapist
‘Jon’ a young man with Aspergers Syndrome who has offered to assist with providing activities of interest/games to the group.
Depending on interest, a fortnightly or monthly parent support group may be offered for $30 a session. This group will be facilitated by Robyn Low, Occupational Therapist.
Adolescent Group sessions will cost $85 each. Parent sessions will be $30 a parent(s) with a minimum of 4 required for each group. Total: $115. A 30 minute pre-group assessment will occur prior to attending group for $60 or if you would like an extended initial consultation this will be $120.
In order to for you (for parent group) and/or your young person to be eligible for Medicare Rebates, a GP, Paediatrician or Psychiatrist Letter of Referral to “Crisalida –Melissa Bryan, Robyn Low and Annabelle Griffin” is required. It is useful to book a ‘double’ session with your Medical Practitioner in order for all the paperwork to be completed.
A Mental Health Referral for Social-Emotional Treatment sessions for 6-12 sessions (approx $67 rebate).
An Enhanced Care Plan for up to 5 sessions (approx $30 rebate).
An Autism Plan (if under 15 years) for up to 20 sessions (approx $67 rebate) – referral by Psychiatrist or Paediatrician only.
To register: please fill in a Group Registration Form [click to download Form 6A)