Groups at The Shoreline Center
At The Shoreline Center, we believe in working with and creating communities. In that vein, we are developing several groups. Stay tuned as this list is growing. Currently we are considering starting parent workshops and social skills groups for adults with social difficulties, so let us know if you are interested in either of those.
Social Skills Groups - for people with social difficulties and social anxieties. These groups offer a chance to practice social skills and strategies in a safe, judgment free setting.
Sibling Support Workshops - for siblings of children with disabilities. Siblings are important stakeholders in the well-being of people with disabilities. This workshop gives them an opportunity to support and learn from one another
Social Skills Groups
We all need social skills to get around in the world. Whether it's learning to share with our friends, negotiating with our parents when they're being 'unfair' or talking to a potential employer at a job interview, social skills are a vital part of life. Unfortunately we're supposed to learn these skills on our own. Nobody tells us the rules or lays them out for us in a class. We're just supposed to pay attention and figure them out. Some people need a little bit more structure, they need the rules to be spelled out in detail, and they need a safe place to practice them so that they can take those skills into the real world with confidence.
At The Shoreline Center, we offer Social Skills Groups to teach the rules and practice them in a safe environment. We welcome children, teens and adults from age 5 to adult. Our groups are separated by age: Children (5-8), Pre-Teens (9-12), Teens (13-18) and adults. Groups include structured skills lessons, time to practice those skills with peers and some time to just relax play games and have a snack. We also welcome peer mentors at no charge. Please pre-register by calling our center at 616-935-7606.
The groups will address social skills concerns, social anxiety, emotional regulation, acceptance and frustration tolerance using proven cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods. The curriculum is taken largely from the book, "Social Skills Training" by Jed E. Baker, and may also include additional materials as needed, depending on the specific problems identified and addressed in each group.
If you are interested please call us at (616) 935-7606. New times and groups may open up depending on interest and availabilities, so even if you can't possibly make it to the existing group, please let us know what works for you.
Volunteering as a Social Skills Mentor
We are always looking for young people who want to be mentors to others. If you or someone you know doesn't need social skills training, but would still like to help out with our groups, we'd love to have you. It's a great opportunity to get to know some unique and interesting people and make a difference in their worlds. Please feel free to call us at (616) 935-7606 to volunteer as a peer mentor in a social skills group. We welcome you to join us, make some friends, learn some things, play some games and have some snacks!
Sibling Support Workshops
Siblings will likely be an integral part of the lives of children with special needs for longer than any other person, including their parents. Unfortunately the needs of typically developing siblings often take a backseat to the much more intensive needs of children with special needs. Some may be overly helpful and never get a chance to care for themselves, others may act out in an effort to get some attention. Many cope with their challenges well and many could use a place to talk about their struggles. The Autism Society of America has an excellent page describing common difficulties and stressors experienced by siblings.
Sibling support workshops offer siblings of children with special needs a chance to share their stories, discuss their struggles and learn skills that will help them to become valued stakeholders in a family with special needs. The workshops will occur periodically for $20 per 2hr session and $15 per 1hr session. We will be offering workshop activities from the Sibshops workbook as well as structured discussions.
Check our Events section for the next Sibling Support Workshop. Please call The Shoreline Center at (616) 935 7606 if interested.