SIMPLY SOCIAL KIDS’ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Simply Social Kids?
Simply Social Kids is a social skills center for children and teens in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire that uses play and activity-based methods to coach kids on social skills.
Which children benefit most from your programs?
Simply Social Kids offers social skills coaching for children with mild to moderate social challenges. Our programs are language-based, so children must have good receptive and expressive language skills and be able to participate. Our programs offer both guided learning experiences as well as unstructured time to replicate the times of day that are hardest for kids, recess, lunch etc.
What curriculum do you use?
We don’t use any one curriculum but draw from several different approaches that teach:
Empathy/Respect – Impulse control – Flexible thinking – Body language – Personal space – Learned optimism – Transitioning – Communication/conversation – Emotion/anxiety management – Problem solving – Conflict resolution – Sportsmanship – Perspective Taking – Mindfulness
We use strategies and techniques that are action-based so kids gain the skills needed to react quickly in social situations. Examples include Collaborative Problem Solving, GoZen, The Incredible 5 Point Scale, among others. Much of the program is infused with the proven strategies of positive psychology. Director Nadine Briggs has dual graduate-level certifications in coaching children and teens and coaching children and teens with ADHD. The program is outlined in detail in the How to Make & Keep Friends: Tips for Kids to Overcome 60 Common Social Challenges and How to Make & Keep Friends: Helping Your Child Achieve Social Success books.
What do I tell my child he or she is going to be doing?
We recommend that you simply tell your child that they will be trying out a new after school activity and let us do the rest! Attending our open house and orientation will allow your child to visit and become comfortable in our space prior to participating in our programs. For teens, we suggest telling them that they are there to interact with other teens and learn relationship skills needed to be a successful adult.
How do I know how my child is doing?
Facilitators debrief parents in the last 10 minutes of the group. If you have specific questions about your child’s progress, please feel free to e-mail or call. We also encourage you to send us specific information on anything your child might be struggling with socially so that we can help support him or her.
How long before I see improvement in my child’s ability to socialize?
Every child is different in terms of how long it will take before improvements are apparent. Some kids may need a little social tune-up and others may be in need of support for the long term. Generally, when children meet the guidelines for success, they improve and graduate from the program. It’s difficult to predict how quickly a child will learn and generalize so we are unable to provide a definitive answer for any individual child.
Do all the children have a diagnosis? Will my child learn behaviors from other children?
Our goal is to provide the most natural peer setting possible for kids to learn and practice social skills. Our program is similar to other after-school activities but offers an extra layer of social support. Many of our friends do not have a documented diagnosis and are with us for guidance on friendship skills. However, we welcome children who have been identified as having profiles including ADHD, Asperger’s, or Social Anxiety. If a child requires more intensive support around behavior, we are happy to assist a family in locating the right resources for their child.
Are there children who do not benefit from your programs?
Just like any program, we’re not for everyone. We are social educators, not counselors, and cannot provide mental health services. We recommend a traditional therapeutic setting with licensed counselors for kids who struggle with significant aggression, bolting behaviors, oppositional defiant disorder or other related disorders that might cause a safety risk for your child. Our participation requirements are:
- Not require one-on-one adult attention for safety or participation in a group of 8-10 participants
- Not have a current history of physical aggression toward others or having to be restrained for aggressive or bolting behaviors
- Be fluent in their use of language and refrain from using profanity
- Be interested in socializing with others
- Be able to independently take care of restroom needs
- Not have any history of mental health issues or psychosis as we are not mental health providers
Participation requirements are for the safety of the children. Simply Social Kids staff are not trained to address issues of physical aggression toward others. We are not mental health professionals as we are social skills coaches. Contact us if you’re uncertain about the participation requirements to discuss your situation.
My child pushed someone on the playground – is that what you mean by aggression?
No. We completely understand that sometimes a child will have an isolated incident and mildly and briefly lash out in frustration. If you have any questions about this particular issue, please feel free to contact us to discuss your child’s specific needs.
How do I get my child enrolled in your programs?
New friends are accepted into our programs each month if space is available. Contact us for an appointment. Registration requires a conversation with the program facilitator to ensure that you have the information needed to make a fully informed decision and for all of us to make sure it’s a good fit for your child. We are careful to accept children that we are qualified to instruct.
What is your professional background?
Nadine Briggs, Director of Simply Social Kids, is an accomplished social educator. Nadine has expertise and certifications in bullying and cyberbullying prevention, dual graduate-level certifications in Coaching Children and Teens and Coaching Children and Teens with ADHD, she is a certified Sibshop facilitator, certified the Foundations of Positive Psychology from Penn State and in the Girl Meets World curriculum, and has been trained by the Child Anxiety Network at Boston University. She uses collaborative problem solving to teach children conflict resolution and is able to communicate social coaching in a simplified manner to children of all abilities. All her programs have elements to teach learned optimism, resilience and improve self-esteem. Her life has been dedicated to teaching social awareness since 1996 when her daughter was born with Down Syndrome. Parenting a child with challenges provided a fertile learning environment with which to teach children how to manage complex social situations. Nadine also has a teenage son with ADHD. Nadine co-authored several books, all available on Amazon.com, How to Make & Keep Friends: Tips for Kids to Overcome 60 Common Social Challenges, How to Make & Keep Friends: Helping Your Child Achieve Social Success, I Feel Mad: Tips for Kids on Managing Angry Feelings, How to Make & Keep Friends: More Tips from our 2015 Blog Posts, I Feel Worried: Tips for Kids on Overcoming Anxiety, Tips for Teens on Life and Social Success and I Need to Win: Tips for Kids on Good Sportsmanship. Please visit the About Us link on our website to learn about the qualifications of our other social coaches.
Are your services covered by insurance?
No, we cannot bill insurance companies for services as we are coaches and not therapists. We operate very much like friendship tutors. However, some families have been successful in having our services reimbursed through employer Flexible Spending Accounts and others have been able to receive grants through other organizations. We strive to keep our tuition costs in the range of an average insurance co-payment or tutoring fee.
How does tuition work?
Tuition for our social educational programs is based on a 4-week month and new families also pay a one-time $60 registration fee. Tuition is automatically deducted from an on-file credit card on the first of each month. In the case of a missed class we cannot offer a refund but we can offer make-up opportunities at other programs during the same month.