Groups at OTFC - OTFC
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Groups at OTFC

Social Skills 1 – Ages 6-8

Aims of group:

  • Improving turn taking behaviour and conflict resolution
  • Develop collaborative play skills
  • Tackle topics such as developing friendships, using empathy, personal space, engaging in conversations
  • Increase emotional understanding and ability to describe and express emotions
  • Develop team work and collaborative problem solving
  • Increased ability to regulate arousal and emotion levels

 

The group will use multi-sensory activities to engage the students, such as physical activities (movement, obstacle courses, problem solving). Each week will have a set structure and specific social skill focus (e.g. turn taking) while being supported by sensory processing and gross motor skills. Strategies to address social skills will include problem based games, role play, worksheets and whole group exercises that will aim to have a Social and Sensory focus.

 

Through the incorporation of sensory and motor activities, the group is more than just a social skills group and involves a number of elements addressed in individual OT sessions at OTFC. This is a unique opportunity for children and those involved will have a great opportunity to further their social skill and experiences.

Social Skills 1 – Ages 9-12

Aims of group:

  • Improving turn taking behaviour and conflict resolution
  • Improving empathy towards others
  • Reduce anxiety in social situations and increase confidence in conversational skills
  • Tackle issues such as bullying and developing friendships
  • Increase emotional maturity and confidence
  • Develop team work and collaborative problem solving
  • Increased ability to regulate emotions

 

The group will use multi-sensory activities to engage the students, such as physical activities (movement, obstacle courses, problem solving). Each week will have a set structure and specific social skill focus (e.g. turn taking) while being supported by sensory processing and gross motor skills. Given the older client group, there will be a heavier focus on more complex social skills, collaborative teamwork and a deeper understanding emotions (e.g. empathy). Also, with an older client group the topics of discussion and flow of sessions can be more child led and adaptable.

 

Through the incorporation of sensory and motor activities, the group covers more than just social skills, and it involves a number of elements addressed in individual OT sessions at OTFC. This is a unique opportunity for children and those involved will have a great opportunity to further their social skills and experiences.

Social Skills Two – Ages 6-8

Aims of group:

  • Furthering the skills developed from the Social Skills One block
  • Provide opportunities for children of other previous groups to meet new peers
  • Improving collaborative play skills and conflict resolution
  • Furthering Social Confidence with peers
  • Explicitly address social skills such as personal space, developing friendships, engaging in conversations, listening to others
  • Provide further support for understanding emotions, but also further ways to ‘express’ these emotions through words.
  • Responding to responsibility and dealing with delegation – using team work and collaborative problem solving
  • Furthering co-regulation skills and ability to regulate arousal and emotion levels

 

The group will continue to use the same multi-sensory activities as per Social Skills One, as this proved effective in engaging each child, as catered for their strengths and challenges. There will be a greater emphasis on ‘generalising’ skills, and more explicit teaching of specific social skill focus (e.g. how to ask someone to play, how to respond appropriately to losing) while again being supported by sensory processing and gross motor skills. Strategies to address social skills will include problem based games, group discussion, role play, worksheets and whole group exercises that will aim to have a Social and Sensory focus.

 

As per the Social Skills One, the incorporation of sensory and motor activities make the group more than just a social skills group, and involve opportunities for children to explore their own interests and share in those of others. Given the success from a previous OTFC Social Skills group, the possibility of some new faces and some familiar faces mean that there is a greater chance for all children to generalise their social skills. This unique opportunity will further support children in their social confidence and experience.

Social Skills Two – Ages 9-12

Aims of group:

  • Furthering the skills developed from the Social Skills One block
  • Provide opportunities for children of other previous groups to meet new peers
  • Improving and modelling appropriate conflict resolution
  • Developing emotional skills of empathy towards others
  • Provide opportunities for increasing confidence in engaging in longer conversations
  • Further address issues such as bullying
  • Understanding friendships and how to keep them going
  • Increase emotional maturity and confidence
  • Responding to responsibility and dealing with delegation – using team work and collaborative problem solving
  • Increased ability to regulate and express emotions successfully

The group will continue to use the same multi-sensory activities as per Social Skills One, as this proved effective in engaging each child, as catered for their strengths and challenges. There will be a greater emphasis on ‘generalising’ skills, and more explicit teaching of specific social skill focus (e.g. how to keep friendships, how to respond to a bully, working on extending conversations) while again being supported by sensory processing and gross motor skills. Strategies to address social skills will include role play, problem based games, group discussion and whole group exercises that will aim to have a Social and Sensory focus. Given the older client group, we will again focus on more complex social skills, a deeper understanding emotions (e.g. empathy) and being confident in yourself amongst a group of peers. As per the previous Social Skills One group, the older client group were afforded more freedom in topics of discussion, to help the group flow and provide all members further understanding of the uniqueness of each person in the group.

 

As per Social Skills One, the incorporation of sensory and motor activities means that the group covers more than just social skills, and it involves a number of elements addressed in individual OT sessions at OTFC. With new peers, further skills and greater understanding of how the groups run, the Social Skills Two group is a unique opportunity for children to further their social skills and experiences.

General SI group – Ages 6+

Aims of group:

  • Follow principles of Individual SI therapy sessions:
    • Incorporating child’s interests
    • Following and scaffolding child’s lead
    • Working on intrinsic motivation
    • Moving outside child’s comfort zone
  • Further Develop foundation gross motor skills (e.g. balance, motor planning, bilateral coordination, crossing the midline, upper limb and postural strength/endurance)
  • Look at sensory regulation and arousal levels (i.e. child’s ability to manage attention levels)
  • Provide opportunities for novel activities to be undertaken in session, which can be transferred to the home environment
  • Introduce simple social skills through interaction with peers (e.g. problem solving, turn taking and conflict resolution)

The program will aim to provide an opportunity for children who may benefit from community group activities, but currently find this challenging, to have a successful experience in a smaller/supported setting. In addition, the interaction with peers provides an opportunity for those who may find social interaction through play more challenging, a chance to develop their skills in this area as well. This group is also a useful option for those who have previously undertaken in dividual OT sessions, but may not require 1:1 OT sessions moving forward. This is a unique opportunity for children and those involved will have a great opportunity to further their gross motor skills and also explore social and play experiences.

School Readiness – Ages 4-5

Aims of group:

  • Develop basic social skills (e.g. turn-taking, reciprocal play).
  • Increasing a child’s ability to follow a set routine and transition into and out of sessions.
  • Further confidence in pre-writing and early handwriting activities.
  • Provide novel fine motor experiences (e.g. scissor skills) to increase confidence in these skills
  • Provide play opportunities for children to explore their own gross motor and problem solving skills (e.g. body awareness, motor planning, co-ordination) as well socially engaging with peers.
  • Use appropriate sensory regulation strategies to help support attention and engagement.
  • Developing independence and early responsibilities in a group setting, for perseverance and self-identity.
  • Functional skills at school (e.g. snack time, packing bag)

 

The group will combine social and physical skills to support early literacy, through a multi-sensory approach. Each session will have a different focus and children will be encouraged to follow the ‘plan’ of each session, including mat time and table time for fine motor activities. The sessions will have a combination of ‘set activities’ and lessons plans, as well as some free time and explorative play, as per a junior primary school structure. This is a unique opportunity for children and those involved will have a great opportunity to be better prepared for the new school experience.

 

Handwriting – Ages 8+
  • Ensuring appropriate attention and regulation for seated tasks
  • Working on trunk and shoulder stability
  • Hand and finger awareness and strength
  • In hand manipulation and dexterity
  • Visual motor skills
  • Posture at the table
  • Pencil Grip
  • Letter formation, sizing, spacing, writing on a line, pencil pressure and page orientation using a multisensory approach
  • Opportunity for guided social interaction

 

This group aims to provide further opportunities for primary school aged children to work on area of fine motor skills that continue to be challenging. Given that pencil grip and fine motor skills are trickier to ‘fix’ from ages 7+, the group will aim to work on increasing motivation, novelty and functionality of handwriting and fine motor skills. This is a unique opportunity for children and those involved will have a great opportunity to change their attitudes on handwriting and fine motor skills, through a fun and engaging program.

Life Skills (Ages 12+) – special education settings

The Life Skills group will be a unique opportunity for older children and young teenagers to engage in a program targeted at support skills required for independence. The aim of the group is to be individualised to meet each child’s needs. The group will be dynamic, and the expectations each week will develop as we assess each child’s abilities. Even children who require continuous support in their lives can develop skills of independence, and these principles will be adopted during the group. Though many Special Schools and Units have Life Skill modules, the point of difference between the OTFC program is the presence of OTs that are trained to meet the challenge of each child and adapt expectations based on the child’s abilities. Moreover, we have a strong focus on meaningful occupations, and in our endeavour to better understand each child’s interests, we will further support engagement and motivation for each child.

 

Targeted Topics

 

  • Basic Social skills
  • Food preparation
  • Simple money handling
  • Simple Community setting
  • Home organisation and routines
  • Physical activity and health
  • Education for parents too

2017 Term Program

 

The following is our basic Groups Program at OTFC. However in 2017 we will also be a few new offerings such as:

  • Another Piece to the Puzzle – a Group for Parents/Carers (run by Sharpy)
  • Sibling Support Group – a Group for siblings of children with needs (run by Kyra)
  • Group Fitness Group – a combination fitness/zumba group (run by Amy)

 

Term 1 (Jan 30th – April 13th 2017)

 

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
9.00am Handwriting Group

(clinic)

 

4.00pm

 

Life Skills Group

 

Social Skills Group

 

Life Skills Group

 

Social Skills Group

Fitness Group

 

 

Term 2 (May 1st – July 7th 2017)

 

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
9.00am Handwriting Group (school) School Readiness Group Zumba Group
 

4.00pm

 

Social Skills Group (1)

 

Life Skills Group(2)

 

Social Skills Group

Fitness Group

 

 

 

Term 3 (July 24th – Sept 29th 2017)

 

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
9.00am Handwriting Group (school) Handwriting Group Zumba Group
 

4.00pm

 

Life Skills Group

 

Social Skills Group

 

Life Skills Group

 

Social Skills Group

Fitness Group

 

 

Term 4 (Oct 15th – Dec 14th 2017)

 

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
9.00am School Readiness Group
 

4.00pm

 

Social Skills Group (1)

 

Life Skills Group(2)

 

Social Skills Group

Fitness Group