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Bradley Hospital Offers Social Skills Program for Kids

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Children who struggle in social situations or may have trouble making, deepening or keeping friendships with their peers have a new resource developed by the Bradley Hospital outpatient department. iFriend, a new social skills group aimed at helping children improve their ability to build and maintain friendships, was designed for boys and girls ages 8 to 11 and fosters social engagement in a fun, friendly and supportive environment. During each session, children will participate in an interactive lesson, a practice activity and free play. Topics will include steps to improve body language, conversational skills, dealing with teasing and learning how to understand what others are feeling.

Addressing Issues Early On

“Developing healthy social relationships is an important part of a child’s development, and connecting to another child can positively impact self-esteem,” said Karyn Horowitz, M.D., director of Bradley Hospital’s outpatient department. “If a child doesn’t seem to have friendships, or has difficulty engaging with other children at school or in the neighborhood, then parents might want to consider speaking with their pediatrician.” Parents will meet separately to talk about ways to encourage and enhance social skill development outside of the group setting and address how to further iFriend at home by learning how to plan a successful play date and tips for increasing self-esteem in children.

Both groups will meet weekly for 10 weeks. For more information about iFriend or to enroll, please call Eunice in Bradley Hospital’s outpatient department at 432-1119 or email


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