are typically developing children (not diagnosis with any development or emotional disorder and /or are not waiting for or undergoing assessment) who have good social, communication and peer play skills (developmentally typical for their age). They are interested in playing with other children, and demonstrate good self-help, and life skills remaining well regulated (ready and available for engagement and learning) even when excited.
Each play groups program has 2-3 Expert Players participating. If your child is between 3 and 14 years of age and meets the criteria state above they may be eligible to attend play groups completely free of charge.
Expert players attend programs completely free of charge. They may gain valuable life long skills by participating in these highly specialized peer, social play programs. Including advancement in communcation and social competences, as well as, leaderships and other life skills. And will develop a healthy levels of empathy for others.
How do I know if play groups the right fit for my child? Once you have filled out an expert player registration form Friend 2 Friend will schedule a time for you and your child/ren to visit the play centre. This transition visit enables you to ask questions, visit the centre, meet the Friend 2 Friend team and gain a better understanding of the programs before the program begins.
What is the benefit to my child? Research suggests that expert players who participate in Integrated Play Groups gain valuable life-long skills in the areas of communication, socialization, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-help skills and are much more empathic individuals. They also gain a better understanding of autism as well as an appreciation and respect for diversity in general.
What does it cost to register an expert player to attend? Completely free.
Where does Friend 2 Friend get expert players? Expert players come from a variety of places. Families who have novice players attending programs are expected to assist with registering expert players. Expert players may be siblings, cousins, classmates, or even a next-door neighbours. Friend 2 Friend actively recruits expert players from local schools, preschools and daycares.
Are siblings included in the programs? Siblings are welcome and encouraged to join the programs. They gain valuable insights and experiences participating as expert players in the programs. Players are placed in play groups by age, interests and abilities. Siblings often make great expert players in groups that are designed for other novice players but may not be the best choice for their siblings group. This is determined during the visit to the Play Centre.
How can I learn more? Friend 2 Friend offers parents and professionals a variety of methods for learning more about our programs and services including Free Parent Training Sessions.
For more information please contact our office