Better Focused Friendships
Our programs are designed to help teach and support progress at each stage.
Services We Offer
INDIVIDUAL, GROUP, PARENT THERAPY, COACHING, AND PHONE/EMAIL/WEBCAM SESSIONS
Better Focused Friendships services children ages 5 to 22 who may struggle with generalizing skills learned to more natural and meaningful scenarios, building social connections, independent self-management, and the ability to understand and more refined emotions and perspectives on a daily basis.
We work with children at any stage of their development. We also offer education, information and support to families. All of our services are provided by Therapist who are specially trained to help children and their families understand and manage stressful experiences related to Anger Management and Conflict Resolution in the family.
BFF helps children develop their social, academic, self-help and behavioral skills needed to interact with others and to cope with the challenges of everyday life. BFF Individual therapy sessions take the form of a highly structured program designed to meet the individualized requirements of each child, while building the foundations for life-long learning.
Research supports the effectiveness of therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning deficits, including – children whose problems are related to life stressors, such as divorce, death, relocation, hospitalization, chronic illness, assimilate stressful experiences, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and natural disasters.
BFF in-home therapy helps children, to become more responsible for behaviors and develop more successful strategies. Develop new and creative solutions to problems. Develop respect and acceptance of self and others. Learn to experience and express emotion. Cultivate empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others. Learn new social skills and relational skills with family. Develop self-efficacy and thus a better assuredness about their abilities. The BFF program is a home based program where a therapist can work one-on-one with your child on building developmental skills. The BFF program’s focuses on all areas of development including communication (verbal and non-verbal), play, self-help, fine and gross motor as well as academic skills. It also addresses problematic behaviors’ including self-injury, tantrums, as well as socially inappropriate behaviors’.
Below describes a breakdown of a typical session for Individual Therapy Services for Children and Parents:
BFF provides various individual therapy services in an atmosphere of support, collaboration, and training. Services are offered in multiple settings including, but not limited to: Community, School, and Home. We offer a progressive style of teaching which starts from Beginner to Intermediate and Advanced learning sessions. We also offer groups that are available in each service to accommodate your child’s skill level. BFF offers Elementary, Middle, High School, Young Adult therapy and Parent services. BFF works with books, CD’S, handouts, and workbooks that will be utilized in each session.
What to expect with your first appointment?
At the beginning of your first appointment (evaluation), the evaluating therapist will speak with you and your child for their general assessment. You will be asked questions about your child and their medical history as well as to describe any concerns regarding your child. Following, an assessment will be performed with your child, this assessment is individualized and based on the tolerance of your child. The therapist will spend time getting to know your child through “questions & answers and play” depending on your child’s age level, and bring in evaluative activities as your child is comfortable. At the end of the evaluation, the therapist will discuss and recommend the need and frequency of ongoing therapy with the parent. Home activities are also prescribed at the evaluation to immediately begin working with the child on specific skills.
How long is each appointment?
The length of the sessions also will depend on the factors discussed in the first question. Generally, sessions tend to be anywhere from 60 minutes to 90 minutes at a time, with some exceptions. A 90 minutes session may seem a long time for a young child to concentrate, but the session does includes play breaks.
Each session, the Therapist reassesses the child to determine the appropriate plan of care. If weekly therapy is not necessary, the Therapist will suggest reducing the number of sessions. However, if the Therapist recommends weekly therapy, it is extremely critical for the child to attend each session. Children who attend each session warm up to the routine of Therapy. However, when a child misses a session, sometimes it will take weeks to regain the two week loss of time. The frequency of Therapy is recommended by the Therapist based on the individual needs of a child to promote optimal changes in your child’s development.
How important are the lessons?
The lesson plans are critical to the progress of the child. Typically, we will see the child 1 or 2 times each week. Although progress is made in each session, it pales in comparison to the progress that can be made with the weekly lesson and homework follow-through. Each session, parents are given activities to perform with their child until the following treatment session. Children who complete their homework show significant gains each week.
During the last 10 minutes of the session, the Therapist will spend this time conducting a brief review of the lesson plan with the child. All sessions will end with the therapist, answering questions to review the current lesson.
The Therapist will meet with the parents for 30 minutes and recap what was addressed in the child’s session. The Therapist and Parent will review the progress, goals, and objectives for the child. Then discuss any changes if necessary and the next upcoming sessions.
The parent’s role in an BFF program
The role of parent/s in their child’s BFF program is crucial in terms of the child’s overall progress. Parents need to be aware and fully informed about all areas of their child’s program so that they can help their child generalize and apply the skills learned during therapy to every-day life situations.
Some parents take BFF parent coaching sessions so that they can implement some of the Therapy lessons and teachings themselves. This helps with providing an understanding of the BFF framework and helps with a more consistence teaching for the child.
The most important aspect of the parent’s involvement is keeping track of what their child is learning and encouraging them to use the skills they have learned outside of Therapy time.
How long will my child need to attend therapy?
This is very dependent on your child’s particular profile. Our Therapist will be regularly reviewing your child’s progress, and feedback and discussion with yourself as a parent is an important part of ongoing therapy. Many children move from individual sessions to group sessions before concluding therapy.
There is not one-sized-fits-all Therapy schedule or duration. All children learn at different paces and all settings offer Therapy at different paces which also effects progress. That said, overall Therapy is not a quick fix. Mild issues may be resolved in 6-12 months where as children with more severe disabilities may need Therapy for years.
Each Therapy session varies in length but usually last about 90 minutes. Sessions are usually held weekly. Research suggests that it takes an average of 20 Therapy sessions to resolve the problems of the typical child referred for treatment. Of course, some children may improve much faster while more serious or ongoing problems may take longer to resolve.
Will you communicate with my child’s doctor?
Your child’s doctor can receive a copy of all evaluations and progress reports. Progress reports are completed quarterly. If necessary, our Therapists will call and discuss specific information with your doctor. It is very important for all healthcare providers of children to be in constant communication to allow for optimal interventions.
BFF is unique in offering individual support as an option for our clients. Our services are responsive to children and families needs, and we do our best to partner with parents to determine the best support for each child in the family.
The first thing we like to do is build a relationship with the child. This may take several sessions as all children are different. The therapist will get to know their likes and dislikes, what makes them laugh and how to motivate the child to want to learn.
Knowing how to motivate a child with special needs and provide the right type of reinforcement to encourage learning is essential. A child with learning disorders may not be interested or motivated by the same things that typically developing children are interested in. Some questions and talking may be required to find out what motivates their interest.
AREAS WE FOCUS ON
Building Confidence, The ability to Develop Good Relationships with Peers, Concentrating on and Persisting with Challenging Tasks, Attending and Listening to Instructions, being able to Solve Social Problems, and Effectively Communicate Emotions.
Individual sessions usually involve 16 weekly sessions, followed by a parent consultation and further assessment of the child’s need for support. Monthly support or intermittent support is available if needed after the initial 16 sessions. As with group sessions, individual sessions are individualized for each child, but focus on our education and curriculum lessons. These sixteen sessions provide children and teens with a foundation to cope positively with the ups and downs that a disability can bring, by providing an age-appropriate understanding of the disability, its treatments and effects, facilitating the expression of feelings related to changes in the family, and identifying individual coping skills to help ease feelings of sadness, anger and fear.
Getting the maximum benefit from your child’s therapy sessions. In order to get the maximum benefit from your child’s Therapist visit we recommend at least a 16 session visit. This will give your child and the Therapist sufficient program time together to achieve the most benefits together. The Therapist will need to assess your child’s age and the degree of his/her difficulties, all this may affect the length of treatment. Your Therapist will tell you the extent of treatment recommended, and how long they may expect it to be needed.
While there’s no proven cure yet for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), treating ASD early, using Therapy based programs, and getting proper medical care can greatly reduce ASD symptoms and increase your child’s ability to grow and learn new skills.
BFF does offer groups sessions for children ages 5 to 22. All groups are designed to help children and teens meet other kids coping with similar experiences, and gain an age-appropriate understanding of their disability. Groups are also designed to give kids opportunities to express feelings and build positive coping skills.
Group Sessions are for children who lack specific social skills, such as sharing or inviting a friend to play, Group Sessions can provide frequent skill building opportunities that we take advantage of teachable moments. Like social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, repetitive behaviors or interests.
We regularly offer groups for new children to BFF. These groups meet weekly with the same children or teens attending each week. The groups regularly visit recreation centers, parks and activity centers for kids where they can play and socialize together as a group.
While the group sessions are individualized to each unique group, our group sessions focus on social & motor skills, and strengthening of friendships. These sessions provide children and teens with a foundation to cope positively with the ups and downs that disabilities can bring by providing an age-appropriate understanding of their disorder, its treatments and effects, facilitating the expression of feelings related to changes in the family,and identifying individual coping skills to help ease feelings of sadness, anger and fear.
BFF Group Therapy, helping children understand, they are not alone with their illness or fears. They can talk and play with other children their own age who have the same similar problems. By working together, they can build trust with each other to share their feelings, information and successes. For one reason or another, some children do not develop social skills as easily as others. Group settings let children talk about their feelings in a safe and private way. They get help with their problems from the Therapists and from the group.
Our Groups focuses on many issues, such as Behavior, Problem Solving and Bullying. The Therapist teaches the children skills to help them deal more effectively with their problems. The children practice these skills during group activities. Children can then use these skills in everyday life.
For some children with ADHD, social interactions are problematic. The combination of impulsivity, immaturity, and difficulty reading the social cues of others can lead to difficult and painful peer relationships. Learning to get along with others is a challenge, whether at school, in sports, or with friends. But it doesn’t have to be so hard. There are many things you can do to help your child develop a better set of social skills.
Therapeutic recreation uses treatment, education and recreation services to help children and families with illnesses, disabilities and other conditions to develop and use their leisure in ways that enhance their health, functional abilities, independence and quality of life.
Why Group Therapy Works– Group Therapy offers a unique format to treat problem behaviors for a variety of reasons. First, in a group setting, chronic problems arise naturally and can be addressed. For example, children with social difficulties will find group therapy helpful because a group can help them identify and practice appropriate social behaviors within an accepting and safe context of a group of like-minded peers. This helps them build the competence and confidence to practice skills in everyday social situations.
Additionally, a group provides opportunities to receive support from peers who are experiencing similar challenges. Emotional difficulties can be isolating, which means connecting with others who share your struggles, can in itself be very therapeutic. Making connections to peers with the support of a skilled therapist offers a chance to learn and practice new coping skills and discover personal strengths and confidence.
The group format can be particularly helpful for children. Young people often learn through peer modeling. We bring together children with similar issues from different schools, allowing your child to learn and express themselves in a non-threatening environment.
The Group Therapy services for children consist of Elementary, Middle, High School and Young Adults services. This written plan is written for a 12 week sessions, once a week for 60 minutes. The groups can be held but not limited to local PARKS, YMCA’S, or a PARENTS HOME. Some of our topic’s may include:
Conversational Skills Manners & Cooperation
Friendships Rejection, Teasing, and Bullying
Perspective Taking Rumors and Gossip
Conflict Resolution Problem Solving
THERAPY FOR PARENTS
Therapy and counseling can help parents in many different ways. For instance, some parents are stressed by a particular parenting challenge, whether it is a one-time event or an on-going situation. Indeed, so many issues arise in parenting that most parents do struggle at one time or another. Most therapeutic models and treatments can provide some level of stress relief. However, some parents need more than the opportunity to get something off their chest, they actually need information, guidance, and/or proven parenting strategies. In this case, BFF specializes in parenting and/or developmental psychology may be able to provide the best help. Our Therapy will take into account the parent’s current parenting style and emotional state in order to develop the most appropriate interventions. Often parents will receive specific instructions that they will be able to carry out with their family at home. Progress is monitored in counseling sessions until the parent’s specific goals have been met.
Some parents have mental or emotional issues of their own that make parenting particularly challenging. For example, those who are depressed or highly anxious may find the normal stresses of parenting to be more than they can handle. Individual or family therapy that reduces or eliminates their mood condition or anxiety can help them reduce stress and become more efffective parents. Similarly, parents with anger management issues may find that therapy can help them find healthier ways of communicating with their family.
Psychological Issues Associated With Parenting
Parenting issues can trigger deep levels of stress. The stress may manifest in different ways, such as chronic worry, depression, chronic irritability, or explosive anger. Sometimes parenting engenders posttraumatic stress (such as when a mother has had a traumatic birthing experience or a parent has had to deal with the loss of a child). Although therapy and counseling can be helpful for all of these conditions, sometimes supplemented by alternative treatments such as, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and so on, the medical model also offers diagnosis and treatment that can also help some individuals. By teaching parents how to prevent the reoccurrence of overwhelming stress, therapy can reduce or eliminate the need for medication.
Most forms of parent counseling borrow heavily from systems theory, though there are others based on psychological approaches such as experiential, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic. Parent therapy contends that the internal dynamics of the family can produce and sustain problematic behaviors in family members. All therapy approaches are designed to help parents improve communication, problem-solving, and coping skills, and enhance their sense of connection to one another.
Parent/s Therapy– Parent therapy can serve many purposes, but one of the most important can be a place were parents can express their self’s and receive the support and advice to help them and their family through difficult times. While it’s true that parent(s) and therapist interaction can provide much needed information and emotional support. With parenting therapy there is a sense of community, and understanding, a place where parents can discuss their frustrations, concerns and problems. This service will help you identify and decide if parent Therapy would be useful to you in meeting your needs and concerns. Parent Therapy is provided across all phases. Parents practice implementing communication, positive parenting, and behavior management skills independently with the therapist and then with their children. The therapists help parents and offer positive reinforcement and corrective feedback to enhance the generalization of these skills.
YOU CAN ALSO GET EFFECTIVE, CONSULTATION VIA EMAIL, PHONE, WEBCAM, OR IM*.
Receive our services right where you are. Sometimes, it is not always practical or possible to meet a therapist in person for face-to-face counseling. Here at BFF, we are able to meet your needs for remote assistance using phone, email, webcam, or messaging. With E-counseling we are just as committed to you and working with your child, just as if we saw you in person.
Once your initial intake paperwork is complete, you and the therapist will schedule a 60 minute sessions (just like an in-person session). Please make sure that you are in a quiet, private space for your session.
Phone session – This is ideal for clients who do not have access to technology or for those who feel more comfortable talking on the phone instead of on webcam. Just set up your appointment and the Therapist will call you at the scheduled time.
Email Consultations – Some parents might prefer to express themselves in writing. The Email sessions gives you the opportunity to really think about your question before posing it to the Therapist. For some clients, having time to choose their words without being affected by the therapists presence, leads to a deeper, more insightful process. The therapist will reply to your entry within 24-48 hours.
The beauty of Emailing is that your therapists guidance is recorded and you can refer back to it on days when you are needing to reflect, to be encouraged or to be reminded. You also have a record of your own journey, it can be very empowering to read initial exchanges and then compare these exchanges to later session exchanges.
BFF offers Coach Training which allow Parents and Professional Educators to learn skills they can directly apply in their Classroom, at home and in the general community.
BFF’S coaching programs are developed by qualified therapist who have worked with children for many years. Our training programs are offered in-house, or delivered at a location of preference.
Our coaching programs are designed to cater to Parents, Educators & Professionals who live or work with children with special needs. BFF coaching programs are designed to accommodate participants with current, reliable and relevant topics to ensure you walk away feeling empowered by the program you have completed.
We will come into your home or classroom to visit you personally or by phone to design you a positive plan of action. No matter how chaotic things feel right now, you will see improvement after the very first visit. Whether you schedule one coaching or multiple sessions.
Children with learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and related disorders puzzle parents because of their many abilities and disabilities. It can also be difficult to understand how much of their behavior is the nature of the condition and how much is oppositional. It is all too easy for parents to sense a child’s feelings of inadequacy and then feel bad as a parent. Parenting/teacher coaching approaches that include clear, concise instructions, structure without rigidity, nurturing a child’s gifts and interests, and constant approval of positive behavior help parents/teachers feel better and help children feel safe. It takes time for both children and parents/teacher to embrace the concept that being different does not mean being inferior and, in fact, can be a good thing. Parents/teachers need to be nurtured and praised to help them nurture and praise their children/students. Most parents/teachers use almost every resource they have to help their children/student flourish, and still, they worry they are not doing a good enough job. Usually they are!
Here at BFF, we are able to meet your needs for remote assistance using phone, email, webcam, or messaging. With E-counseling we are just as committed to you and working with your child, just as if we saw you in person.
We respects your time and want you to achieve quick and lasting results. First we’ll ask you to complete a coaching form so we can get valuable information gathering. Your coaching time with you will focus on specific strategies that move the ball forward in the areas that are most important to you.
Whether you’re married, a teacher, step-parent, single parent or foster parent, one-on-one parent coaching with BFF will provide you the education and support for the most important job any of us will ever have.
1). Parent /Educators Programs– The BFF therapists role is to coach parents/teachers how to Teach Play, Communication, Self-Help and Academic Skills to children with learning difficulties. This coaching program focuses on developing and acquiring these skills, and working one-on-one with the child(ren). Many professionals and educators have benefited greatly by understanding and applying BFF principles.
2). BFF Advanced Coaching– Be part of this exciting opportunity to acquire new & advanced theoretical knowledge and training, gain even more feedback on program implementation and advanced coaching stratigies. By examining live therapy footage and being placed in a role play situation you will extend your knowledge and skills on the strategies you have already learned. This coaching is built off the basic coaching techniques learned in coaching 1.
This training (Coaching 2) is only suitable for parents, teachers or therapists who have completed (Coaching 1) training.
BFF offers a coaching program specifically designed to equip early childhood educators, teachers and teachers aides to meet the challenges of teaching children with special needs and social skills deficits.
Topics include a range of practical classroom and playground strategies:
Theory of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Understanding Challenging Behaviors
Behaviour Management Strategies
Developing Social Skills
OTHER TOPIC’S MAY INCLUDE:
Children and the Individual Education Plan
Plan pro-actively for success – tips for setting up the classroom
Breaking down academic skills to teach effectively
Motivating an ASD child
Using prompting to teach the ASD child (classroom success)
Identifying common challenges for educators.
Identifying common challenges for ASD students
Identifying the function of behavior
Strategies for challenging behaviours in the school environment
Teaching & maintaining social skills (in & out of the classroom)
Breaking down & teaching social skills
Parents-If you have a child with a disability, you are not alone. Millions of parents in the United States are raising children with disabilities. Many resources (including fellow parents) can help you along the way.
Here are some tips for parents:
Learn as much as you can about your child’s disability.
Find a programs to help your child.
Talk to your family or Therapist about how you’re feeling.
Talk to other parents of children with disabilities.
Join a support group.
Stick to a daily routine.
Take it one day at a time.
Take good care of yourself.
An important quality that we teach parents is to teach their child “self worth & determination.” Children who develop these quality have a more sense of control over their lives and can set goals and work to attain them. Self worth & determination is important for all children. But researchers have found that children with disabilities who also have high levels of self worth & determination are more likely to become adults who are, employed, satisfied with their lives, living independently, or with support, outside of their family homes.
Here are some coaching tips to help your child understand self worth & determined:
As early as possible, give your child opportunities to make choices and encourage your child to express wants and wishes. For instance, these could be choices about what to wear, what to eat, and how much help with doing things your child wants from you. Strike a balance between being protective and supporting risk-taking. Learn to let go a little and push your child out into the world, even though it may be a little scary. Guide children toward solving their own problems and making their own choices. For instance, if your child has a problem at school, offer a listening ear and together brainstorm possible solutions. To the extent that your child can, let your child decide on the plan and the back-up plan.
Our Training and coaching provides added information, support, technical assistance to families who have children with disabilities and the professionals who work with them. We believe children benefit most from their education when parents and professionals work together as partners focuses on activities that help build collaborative relationships among key education stakeholders (parents, educators, other professionals, and community partners) ensuring systemic efforts at improving educational outcomes for all children.
BFF can also tailor your coaching specifically to your organization’s needs, including relevant topics of choice, preferred methods and options.