27 Jun Here’s how our social skills program helps Marishka’s friendships
Registrations are open for Term 3 places for KidsLink, a 9-week program run by certified art therapists where kids and teens develop social skills in a fun, safe space.
Local mum Ramonita says her 14-year-old daughter was an ‘extremely withdrawn child’ before she started attending KidsLink, a social skills program for kids and teens.
“My daughter Marishka didn’t know how to interact with other kids — mainly because she didn’t know what to say in conversations,” Ramonita says. “She felt more comfortable in the company of adults because adults do all the talking and prompting.”
But, since participating in the KidsLink program, Marishka has significantly developed her social and emotional skills.
“Marishka has become more self-confident. It’s now much easier to relate to and understand her feelings and those of other kids, helping her to become more social,” Remonita says.
The small group social skills programs use creative arts to help kids explore topics and practise conversation
Psychologist and CEO at Spencer Health Emma Spencer, who leads the child development program, recommends KidsLink to children and teenagers who need support with their social skills, or have challenges with friendships.
“It’s a great program, giving children and teens an opportunity to meet with like-minded peers,” Emma says. “Classes meet weekly to create art, practise social skills, make friends, and explore topics like ‘standing up for yourself’.”
According to Emma, Marishka has thrived in the five years since she first started attending KidsLink.
“Marishka has made friends, and continues to develop her social skills in a safe space, reaching new developmental milestones alongside her peers,” Emma says. “Marishka is doing so well, which is a fantastic outcome.”
KidsLink social skills program has helped Marishka’s confidence and social development
Ramonita believes regular fun, weekly activities with the same group of kids has been important to Marishka’s learning and emotional health. She likes the variety and interactivity of the program, saying it motivates her daughter to learn and bond with the group.
“Marishka now recognises her own emotions and can communicate this to us. To me, this is very important as it helps our family to better understand her and to know the appropriate support to give her,” Remonita says.
“Without the help of KidsLink, my daughter wouldn’t have the social confidence she has now and would be a much more anxious and awkward child.”
Term 3 registrations are now open
The KidsLink program is currently accepting registrations for Term 3 classes at Gladesville, Hornsby and Mosman locations. The term fee is $900 for a 9-week program, which may be covered by NDIS for eligible participants.
Find out more about KidsLink and register your interest here or call us on 02 9960 1222.