Safe learning zones for neurodiverse youth with social differences
If all the literature and best practice information points to the fact that people learn by doing, have you ever then wondered why most life and social skills programs take place in the confines of an office? Most programs simulate through group discussion, role plays and booklet type exercises how to increase skills such as cooperation, sharing, teamwork, reciprocal relationships, conversation, coping and the awareness of feelings. At Equinox, we believe the most effective way to teach life and social skills is to actually do them. EQ Life and Club EQ are multi-faceted social skills programs taught through REAL LIFE experience.
Learning Independence Through Friendship and Experience
EQ Life is an eight-week social fitness adventure series for neurodiverse young adults ages 18-24 with Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism, ADD/ADHD, and social and / or learning differences. EQ Life pairs urban adventure activities with our Flexible Brains™ program. The group meets twice a week, one weekday after school for Flexible Brains (two hours), and on Saturdays for adventure activities (three hours). Without even knowing it, your child is practicing what they learned earlier in the week in a social activity based setting—and having fun!
Flexible Brains™ – This important component of the program teaches foundational skills, including:
- How to be an effective problem solver
- Tangible ways to understand and practice situational coping
- Learning to be better communicators about needs and wants as well as balancing needs and wants
- Handling being told “no” (i.e. increasing resilience)
- Increasing tolerance for distress/frustration to better function and navigate life
- Improving the ability to handle difficult situations, anxiety, stress and stimulation
- Reducing rigidity
Social Fitness Adventures – These engaging and entertaining activities give youth a chance to practice the skills they’ve learned in Flexible Brains. Activities change with each new EQ Life session and include adventures such as:
- Olympics in the Park – Our coaches facilitate equally matched, non-competitive, and team oriented activities in a local park, ranging from obstacle courses and relay races to basketball, football and other field games.
- Social Scientists – In this kitchen science project, youth take part in different, fun, wild, and unbelievable experiments with eggs, working individually and within groups to make predictions, run trials, and write down findings during our Egg-tastic experiments.
- Climbing New Heights – The EQ Life group takes the skills and tools learned through Flexible Brains to new heights during our indoor rock climbing session where climbers work together to support one another.
- Bowling – This is an opportunity for kids to tune into their bodies and focus on balance, hand/eye coordination, patience, strength, all while maintaining a healthy, positive, and friendly environment with those around us.
- Urban Explorers – Youth explore downtown Denver in teams of two to four through a multi-layered “scavenger hunt” that requires team members to work together to navigate the mall using public transportation, maps, asking questions and using basic problem solving skills.
- Confident Cooks – Social Fitness comes full circle with a cookout/potluck put on by “EQ Life Cooks” who plan, shop, read recipes and make simple and healthy foods and snacks.
LAUGH. PLAY. MAKE FRIENDS. BELONG.
Club EQ is for neurodiverse youth with Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism, ADD/ADHD, and social and / or learning differences. Club EQ, offers a variety of life and social skills groups for youth ages eight to 18 years who are coping with these challenges. Each group offers a different avenue for youth to learn an array of tools and skills while enjoying experiences that encourage pro-social development, self-discovery, friendship and belonging. Kids participate in social skills groups that are specifically designed and presented in a club-style atmosphere with activities and peers they can relate to and who share similar interests. In this fun and interactive learning environment, your child can be him or herself, laugh, play, make friends and be involved—without fear of rejection, bullying, judgement or isolation. Along the way, they naturally learn and practice situational coping, non-computer or electronic-based recreation interests, peer friendships and emotional awareness. Imagine the difference in how you’ll feel as a parent when you get ready to drop your child off to learn the important skills they need for their own development, and instead of saying,”Okay, it’s time to get ready for group,” you’ll get to say, ‘Alright, let’s go, today’s a Club EQ day.”
Club EQ includes two important components:
Disguised through fun and engaging activities, youth learn foundational and practical skills necessary for flexible thinking, problem solving, and goal achievement. Specifically youth and teens get help with:
- Effective problem solving
- Situational coping
- Getting along well with others
- Compromise and cooperation with same-age peers
- Making friends
- Frustration and distress tolerance
- Self confidence
- Reducing rigidity
- Self-concept and esteem
Opportunities for youth and teens to practice Flexible Brain skills while learning about friendships, having fun, feeling good and truly belonging to a peer group that enjoys them for who they are! Social Fitness is the manner in which we expose, teach, and rehearse how these skills are actually mastered. These community based groups/clubs utilize venues and activities such as bowling leagues, music and dance, “magic” the gathering, urban media adventures, rock climbing, adventure, art, audio and video making projects, digital storytelling, cooking, rocketry, science and more!
Our model is simple, yet effective. Through Club EQ your child meets up with other kids for the fun of it in a social activity-based environment where we purposefully create experiences that teach your child what it looks, sounds and feels like to use tools for effective coping, life and social skills, and young adult preparation.
Club EQ social club opportunities are like no other! They are action oriented, designed to get youth and teens up, moving, doing and having a blast. Don’t miss out; your child will not want to miss this!