Frequently Asked Questions
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- Can you describe your therapeutic approach for teaching social learning?
- If there is no delay in speech or language, how can a speech pathologist and social communication therapy help?
- I’m not sure if this describes myself or my child. What are some of the signs of social-cognitive challenges?
- How do the concepts and skills learned at SBT generalize out of the clinic setting?
- How old are the clients in social learning groups?
- How are the groups structured?
- Do you have a schedule for when groups start and end?
- How do we join a social learning group?
- What is the cost of the programs offered at Seven Bridges Therapy?
- Does Seven Bridges Therapy accept insurance?
1. Can you describe your therapeutic approach?
Much of our teachings are based on a group of leading specialists in social communication, and self-regulation including Michelle Garcia Winner (Social Thinking®), Leah Kuypers (Zones of Regulation), Dr. Barry Prizant (SCERTS), Dr. Stanley Greenspan (DIR/Floortime), and our own lessons that we have developed over our years of practice.
When we have parents who are searching for ways to help their children become more effective social communicators or older clients who are wanting to become more effective social communicators, we are here to help. At Seven Bridges Therapy, we teach our pediatric clients how to be “social detectives” or “social spies” in and out of the therapeutic setting. We help them learn how to use their bodies, brains, eyes, and words to connect with other people, as well as how to understand the perspective of others and how they can influence those perspectives. We work closely with our older teen or adult clients learning about their own personal concerns and social goals and devise a program to help them achieve those goals.
We help our clients learn about friendship, how to make a positive impression, and how to deal with the “boring moments.” We use visual cues and fun activities to practice these concepts and many others. We set them up for success, catch them in the moment and praise them for having a “thinking of others moment.” Many of our clients are labeled the “trouble maker” or “lazy” and become accustomed to negative attention, as social-cognitive deficits can often be an invisible challenge. It is our goal to break that pattern and help them have more positive social experiences. To address self-regulation, we integrate The Zones of Regulation curriculum developed by Leah Kuypers. The lessons and learning activities are designed to help the clients recognize when they are in the different Zones (states of arousal) as well as learn how to use strategies to regulate the zone they are in. In addition to addressing self-regulation, the clients will be gaining an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading facial expressions, perspective on how others see and react to their behavior, insight on events that trigger their behavior, calming and alerting strategies, and problem solving skills.
2. If there is no delay in speech and language, how can a speech pathologist and social learning therapy help?
Those with social cognitive deficits may have developmentally appropriate communication skills yet have challenges successfully applying those skills in the real world. If you or your child has difficulty with self-regulation and/or social learning, there is often a struggle with the use of language and feeling comfortable in social contexts. There may also be difficulties engaging in appropriate social interactions and uncertainty on how to “be” with other people. Our speech and language pathologists are skilled in working with all forms of language, including pragmatic language. Although you or your child may not exhibit a speech or language delay, social learning therapy can help if the need is to support or improve social communication. Being social, playing and “hanging out” is one of the most meaningful experiences in life. If someone is struggling with getting along with others, joining in with peers and participating in social events, our speech pathologists can teach the client to better understand the social environment and how to navigate it with more ease. Clients without a diagnosis or those with one of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), or other language disabilities including those with undiagnosed social learning challenges or social-cognitive thinking deficits, can greatly benefit from social learning therapy.
3. I’m not sure if this describes myself or my child. What are some of the signs of social-cognitive challenges?
The signs of social-cognitive challenges can range from subtle to overt. They may include:
- Social anxiety and/or low self esteem
- Disinterest in others; limited or no friends
- Inability to read or interpret body language and facial expressions
- Excessively talking about him/herself and/or specific subjects in too much detail
- Inability to take the listener’s perspective
- Inability to understand or express feelings
- Lack of eye contact
- Lack of self-control/self-regulation
- Inability to answer open-ended questions, such as “What happened?”
- Inability to engage in a conversational exchange
- Difficulty with abstract language, including verbal problem solving (why, when, how do you know?), double meanings, innuendos, jokes, and colloquialism (such as “You hit the nail on the head”)
- Poor academics in areas of reading comprehension, history, writing, etc.
- Weak organizational and/or time management and difficulty prioritizing
4. How do the concepts and skills learned at Seven Bridges Therapy generalize out of the clinic setting?
Family involvement is an integral part of our program and helps lead to success. As part of each weekly session, we provide parent/caregiver/partner training during a portion of each session. This involves discussing the vocabulary, concepts and lessons that were introduced each week as well as ideas about how to carry-over skills learned in therapy in other environments.
Seven Bridges Therapy actively strives to provide ongoing communication and consultation with all family members and professionals involved with our clients. We encourage weekly communication about what is going on at school, work and home so that we can incorporate any concerns or real life issues in our lessons.
5. How old are the clients in social learning groups?
Seven Bridges Therapy offers a range of social learning services and playgroups that accommodate clients from ages 3 to adult. Groupings are determined with great care by our intake coordinator and therapists after a consultation and review of the client’s history is conducted. We also provide individual sessions for those who need more direct support.
6. How are the groups structured?
Our groups are comprised of two to four clients who are matched according to their age, maturity, cognitive level, and level of social awareness. We are very careful to structure our groups to avoid anxiety for the clients involved and to ensure that the lessons are appropriately geared to all members of a group. Each group meets once per week for 25-50 minutes. Each session concludes with a parent wrap-up during which the therapist goes over the lesson for the week and the concepts to be reinforced outside of the Center. This parental involvement is a crucial component of our approach and another differentiator that sets Seven Bridges Therapy apart from other programs.
7. Do you have a schedule for when groups start and end?
Groups run year round. Seven Bridges Therapy can accommodate starting new sessions at any time if there are openings in current groups or a need to start a new group.
8. How do we join a social learning group?
Seven Bridges Therapy does not require a formal assessment for a client to enroll in a social learning group. However, in order to place each client in the most appropriate group for his or her needs, we first schedule a 15 minute consultation appointment. In this meeting, we perform a brief, informal social observation that can help us match them in the best placement and determine the appropriate roadmap of services. We can also perform a more extensive evaluation, school observation or consultation that can provide information and recommendations regarding the areas of social or self-regulation strengths and challenges and the need for various supports. The prerequisites for a client participating in a group include:
- Ability to focus on an activity for 15-20 minutes
- Basic conversational skills
- Ability to follow directions that are appropriate for group dynamics
- Ability to self regulation around peers with minimal support
9. What is the cost of the programs offered at Seven Bridges Therapy?
Our rates vary depending on the session length. For more information, please contact us to discuss your needs and availability for placement. Most insurance payers cover this service, we can help gather that information for you.
10. Does Seven Bridges Therapy accept insurance?
Yes. Seven Bridges Therapy is in network with most insurance companies including HMOs:
Brown and Toland Medical Group (BTMG)
John Muir Medical Group (JMMG)
Hill Physician Medical Group (HPMG)
Kaiser Permanente Medical Group (KP)
Children First Medical Group (CFMG)
Sutter East Bay
UHC, Anthem, Blue Shield, Cigna, Tricare & Healthnet among others.
Call us and we can give you more information about what we offer.