:: THERAPEUTIC - INTERActive Kids
PURPOSE:
InterActive Kids is a unique social program designed to build lasting friendships between children struggling with age appropriate social skills and peers while also teaching them how to use those learned social thinking skills in a variety of settings. ISW recognizes that although many kids practice social skills with trained professionals they often don't have the opportunity to practice social skills with peers in natural settings.  We also recognize that a number of children truly want to play with peers however lack an understanding with abstract concepts such as friendship and play.  In addition, children with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Social Emotional deficits often lack effective communication skills, social-emotional regulation and flexibility,  which can certainly impede their ability to play with a peer.  

Our community partnership with the Farmers Branch Recreation Center ensures that we always have peers available between the ages of 5-12. We have seen that with facilitation, hands on activities and consistent practice with different peers and settings, friendship can be fostered.  During this program children not only focus on expanding their existing play repertoire but they also work on all areas of socialization ranging from verbal and non-verbal pragmatic social skills, social- emotional regulation, and executive function, personal space,.   ISW aims to help children not just learn skills but give them the tools to put skills into practice in a natural environment.  Sessions are 10 weeks long and run from the month of September to June.  All InterActive Kids sessions take place at the Farmers Branch Recreational Center and are facilitated by a play facilitator.    Children have access to a playing with single peer, a group while engaging in a variety of activities which include a  recess sports / games, playground equipment, board games, and ,more. 


DETAILS:
It's a Sensory World! was the first center in Dallas to offer a Peer Playdate program and  was brought to them by Program Director, Priya Patel.  While attaining her Master's in Education at Cal State University Northridge, in California, Priya facilitated Playdates and was mentored on how to successfully assist children with special needs to form friendships.  After moving to Dallas, Texas in 2008 Priya recognized that no such program existed in the city.  Immediately upon joining ISW in 2011 Priya began offering playdates in the center which still continues today as InterActive Kids.  

www.itsasensoryworld.com