Children & Youth

Social Skills Programs

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The Incredible Years® Dinosaur School

The Incredible Years® Dinosaur School is a comprehensive evidence-based early intervention program that is effective in improving children’s social emotional competence, communication, self-regulation, school readiness and positive behaviours.

Learning Links is running the program for children aged 4-8 years facing a range of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, including those with ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), conduct problems, developmental delays, speech disorders and undiagnosed communication delays*.

Dinosaur School aims to strengthen children’s social and emotional competencies and communication skills, helping them develop in a range of areas, including:

  • understanding and communicating feelings
  • listening, waiting and understanding rules
  • identifying problems, finding solutions and thinking about consequences
  • teamwork, sharing and helping
  • self-regulation, managing anger and frustration
  • making friends and having conversations
  • developing positive behaviours

Details

The program consists of an initial interview with the parent, followed by small-group child sessions with a maximum of 6 children per group. The groups will be run by two psychologists.

Learning Links runs the program weekly during school terms, with 10-15  x 1-2 hour sessions in total (depending on location). Parents/carers are required to attend

Dinosaur School is running at our Bella Vista (6-8 years) and Oatley (4-6 years) centres in Term 3. Contact our Customer Care team for more information or to book. Call 1300 003 900 or click Enquire Now.

Download Bella Vista flyer >

Details for Oatley groups will be confirmed shortly.

* To fully benefit from the program, children require verbal communication skills and the ability to participate in a small group, follow instructions, ask and answer basic questions appropriate for this age group.

Playing and Learning to Socialise (PALS)

PALS is an evidence-based social skills program to help 4-6 year olds develop a range of social behaviours for the early years of school. Using puppets, stories, games and role play, children learn important skills like:

  • greeting others
  • talking and listening
  • taking turns
  • understanding feelings
  • problem-solving in social situations.

The program is suitable for young children who may need extra support in social situations or in the lead up to preschool or kindergarten.

PALS aims to help children relate to others, teach constructive problem solving skills for social situations and promote the skills needed for the transition to school.

Details

Learning Links runs the program weekly during school terms, with 6  x 1-hour sessions in total.

PALS is running at our Bella Vista and Oatley centres in Term 3. Contact our Customer Care team for more information or to book. Call 1300 003 900 or click Enquire Now.

Download Bella Vista flyer >

Details for Oatley groups will be confirmed shortly.

Westmead Feelings Program

Program for 7-9 year olds with Autism Spectrum Disorder and mild intellectual disability 

The Westmead Feelings Program is an evidence-based small group intervention program for  children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and mild intellectual disability*, teaching them about emotional understanding and social awareness.

Based on theories of emotional intelligence and emotional competence, the program empowers children to interact and social with their peers in a fun, supportive and understanding environment.

Over the course of the program, children participate in activities that build foundations of emotional awareness, social skills and good mental health, including:

  • Recognising and understanding their own and others’ emotions, eg. happy, sad, worried and angry
  • Developing the skills to understand different perspectives and solve problems
  • Managing their own feelings and behaviour in different settings

Details

The Westmead Feelings Program runs across three school terms and consists of an initial interview with the child and parent, followed by 15 small-group child sessions, 6 parent sessions and a booster session 6 months following program completion. Each session is 1.25 hours, with parents able to attend the last 15 minutes of each session if they wish.

Children and parents both receive a resource pack to support program participation.

The Westmead Feelings Program is running in our Peakhurst centre from Term 3. Contact our Customer Care team for more information. Call 1300 003 900 or click Enquire Now.

Download flyer >

*For children to achieve the best possible outcomes in the Westmead Feelings Program, they need to have some verbal communication, be able to draw simple pictures or write a few words and pay attention for at least a few minutes at a time. Please discuss the program’s suitability with our Customer Care team.

Brick-by-Brick™ (previously LEGO® Based Therapy)

Program for 5-12 year olds with social difficulties 

Brick-by-Brick™ is a small group social skills program, proven to help children with social difficulties, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)*, to improve and practice their social interaction and communication skills.

Using the principles of Play Therapy, the program helps children socialise with their peers and have fun in a supportive and understanding environment, while learning important skills like sharing, waiting, turn-taking, talking with others and making friends.

In the sessions, children agree upon a project that is achievable for everyone in the group, and are assigned roles:

  • The Architect holds the building instructions, and is responsible for letting the others know which
    bricks are required (Supplier) and how to put them together (Builder).
  • The Supplier holds the LEGO bricks necessary to assemble the LEGO model, and is
    responsible for supplying the builder with the correct pieces and at the correct time.
  • The Builder is responsible for taking the individual pieces from the supplier, and putting the pieces
    together, according to the instructions given by the architect, to create the model.

Roles are rotated throughout the sessions so children can learn different skills and responsibilities.

Details

Brick-by-Brick™ consists of an initial interview with the child and parent, followed by small-group child sessions with a maximum of 6 children per group.

Learning Links’ psychologists runs the program during school terms, with 12 sessions in total. Each session is 1.5 hours, with parents attending for the first and last 15 minutes of each session.

Brick-by-Brick™ is running in Peakhurst, Bella Vista, Liverpool, Alexandria and Gledswood Hills in Term 2. Contact our Customer Care team for more information or to be added to our waitlist for groups in Term 3. Call 1300 003 900 or click Enquire Now.

*For children to achieve the best possible outcomes in Brick-by-Brick™, they need to have a certain level of communication skills and be able to follow instructions. Please discuss your child’s suitability with our Customer Care team.

Superflex®

Superflex® is a social skills program designed for 7-10 year olds, to help with social thinking, behaviour awareness and self-regulation skills. The programs focuses on managing social and communication difficulties, and is suitable for children who struggle to monitor and regulate their behaviour, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Level 1 or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)*.

Over the course of the program, children become superheroes and are taught to explore social thinking concepts, become aware of their own social behaviour and develop strategies to monitor and modify their own behaviour.

The sessions cover a range of topics, including:
• Becoming a flexible thinker
• Understanding social rules
• Understand a big problem vs a small problem
• Learning to change unhelpful behaviours

Details

The program consists of small-group child sessions, with engaging games and activities. Each child is provided with a Superflex cape to utilise within the program.

Learning Links runs the program weekly during school terms, with 10 x 1 hour sessions in total.

Superflex® is running in our Peakhurst, Bella Vista and Gledswood Hills centres in Term 2. Contact our Customer Care team for more information or to be added to our waitlist for groups in Term 3. Call 1300 003 900 or click Enquire Now.

* To ensure children can achieve the best possible outcomes from the Superflex program they need to have the ability to understand their own thoughts, to enable them to moderate their behaviour. Please discuss your child’s suitability with our Customer Care team.

The Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is designed for children 6-12 years (split into appropriate age groups) and aims to address challenges with emotional and sensory regulation, and social skills. Using visuals, play-based activities, role playing and video modelling, the program teaches self-regulation by helping children to categorise their emotions and develop strategies to control their impulses and cope when they feel overwhelmed. It is suitable for all children, including those with ASD, ADHD or mood disorders.

The program includes discussions, role plays, video modelling and variety of activities to teach students to:

  • identify their feelings and level of alertness
  • understand how their behaviour can impact others
  • build strategies to manage their feelings appropriately

Details

Learning Links currently runs this program in a small group over 3 half-days in the school holidays, however, it can also be tailored to meet the needs of families.

Contact our Customer Care team for more information about the program. Call 1300 003 900 or click Enquire Now.

How to Access our Services

Locations: Group social skills programs will be running in 2021 at our Learning Centres in Alexandria, Bella Vista, Gledswood Hills, Liverpool, Oatley and Peakhurst.

Days of Operation:  Monday to Saturday

Call us on 1300 003 900, email mail@learninglinks.org.au or click on the button below to enquire.