Things get started June 6

    If you are looking for summer activities that will help your child with social interaction or feeding issues, look no further than RiverView Health’s Rehab Services Department.

    The Rehab staff has a summer schedule filled with fun groups for children of all ages and needs that qualify. The successful Social Skills Group for school-aged children will continue throughout the summer, a play group to help improve social interaction with peers will be added for children three to six, and two new groups will be added for children with feeding issues.

    “Summer is a great opportunity to offer these groups due to less demanding family schedules and school being out,’’ stated April Waters, MOTR/L. “It’s great for the kids to be able to get together and watch each other and imitate what others their age are doing.

    “As far as the feeding groups, we work with quite a few kids who have a limited diet due to sensory concerns and tactile sensitivity to foods. The Feeding Play Group and Food Scientist Group will benefit those patients in many areas so they can tolerate different foods and textures,” she continued.

    The groups will be led by RiverView occupational therapists including Waters, Tina Safranski, MOTR/L, and Madeline Graff, MOTR/L.

    Below are details on each of the groups:

Social Skills Group

    The goal of the Social Skills Group is for each individual to develop the necessary social skills to be successful at home, school, and in the community. This includes communicating with others, making friends, and expressing themselves in a socially acceptable manner.  Some of the areas that will be addressed may include: incorporating conversation skills, interrupting others appropriately, analyzing body language, predicting behaviors,  problem-solving thoughts and emotions contributed to social setting, understanding behaviors and the consequences contributed to them, and building self-esteem.

    Benefits of the Social Skills Group include:

    • Establishing and maintaining friendships
    • Improved overall social interaction with peers and authority figures
    • Improved self-awareness in social settings

    This group will meet from 3 to 4 p.m. every other Thursday June 8 through Aug. 31.

Play Group

    In this group toddlers will develop the necessary interaction skills needed to play successfully with peers across contexts.  The skills that will be addressed are: sharing, turn taking, waiting, manners, following structured activities, expressing self, and utilizing tools appropriately.  Children in this group will have the opportunity to interact with peers their age and developmental level.

    Benefits of the Play Group include:

    • Establishing and maintaining friendships
    • Improved overall social interaction with peers
    • Improved self-awareness in social settings
    • Improved emotional regulation

    Two sessions will be offered for the Play Group. One group will be held on Tuesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. starting June 6 and the other will be held on Wednesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. starting June 7. Each group will meet for 10 sessions.

Feeding Play Group

    The goal of the Feeding Play Group is for toddlers who have a limited diet to develop the necessary self-The child will develop motor planning skills with silverware, tolerance of new foods, and improve oral motor skills. This group will provide the child with an opportunity to interact with peers their age that are working toward the same goals.  

    Benefits of the Feeding Play Group include:

    • Increased self-esteem
    • Improved social interaction with peers
    • Improved tolerance of new foods that are currently not in their diet  
    • Improved motor planning/coordination with utensils and gross motor strength to tolerate sitting at a table for an extended duration
    • Oral motor strengthening in order to tolerate different textures of food

    Parents will be educated on therapy meals to be completed at home.

    Ten sessions for the Feeding Play Group will be held from 9-10 a.m. every Tuesday, June 6 through Aug. 15.

Food Scientist Group

    The Food Scientist Group will help school-age children develop “scientist’’ skills that will allow them to explore food and become more comfortable with different textures of food. The benefit of the food scientist approach is to increase the child’s food hierarchy. This group will provide the child with an opportunity to interact with peers their age that are working toward the same goals.  

    Benefits of the Food Scientist Group include:

    • Increased self-esteem
    • Improved social interaction with peers
    • Improved exploratory skills with different foods
    • Improved tolerance of new foods that are currently not in their diet  
    • Oral motor strengthening in order to tolerate different textures of food

    Parents will be educated on how to complete the food scientist approach at home.

    This group will be held from 8:30-9:30 a.m. every Thursday for 10 sessions running between June 8 and Aug. 10.

    Current RiverView patients who meet the criteria for these groups have been sent invitations.

    For more information or to register for any of these groups, contact RiverView’s Rehab Services Department at 281-9463.