Integrated Play Groups are Not Social Skills Programs

Integrated Play Groups are Not Social Skills Programs

Integrated Play Groups are Not Social Skills Programs

Friend 2 Friend Social Learning Society has offered our unique Integrated Play Groups programs to children, families and schools since 2006. We are often asked about our “Social Skills programs”. But Integrated Play Groups are Not Social Skills Programs, there are important distinctions between the two. Therefore, as we approach registration time we thought we trying and clear up some on the misconceptions.

Friend 2 Friend ‘s Integrated Play Groups are Not Social Skills Programs because:

  • Our programs are based on the award-winning evidence based IPG model with more 20-years cross cultural research.
  • Our programs combine the IPG®, Autism Demystification® and SCERTS® models.
  • The programs are child-led with a focus on guiding peer play between children with autism and their typically developing peers and siblings.
  • Expert players (typically developing peers) are selected and invited to attend from the child’s (novice player’s) natural peer group.
  • Small stable groups of no more than 5 children attend the programs, with a higher ratio of expert players to novice players.
  • Highly trained Play Guides guide the social interactions while the players engage in specially designed affinity based play themes and materials.

Friend 2 Friend’s Integrated Play Groups are Not Social Skills
 Programs because:

  • The programs are individually designed to the novice player’s unique needs, affinities and abilities.
  • Children attend the programs at our state-of-the-art Play Centres that are specially designed clinical settings.
  • A full 12-week in program assessment is done to obtain the novice players baseline competencies.
  • 5 dimensions of play [social play, symbolic play, emotional regulation, communication and play preferences] are the focus of the intervention.
  • Individualized goals and strategies and a full written report is provided to the families.
  • Weekly session notes gathering progress data is take to measure the novice players progress against the goals.
  • Copies of these weekly session notes and all transactional supports are provided to the families.
  • Families are also provided free parent training, transition visits and Master Guide liaison.
  • Novice player’s schools are offered our signature Autism Demystification® programs as part of the programs.


But most importantly, Integrated Play Groups are Not Social Skill Programs because the play is design and created by children, for children and led by the children. The children guide our practices, ensuring they get the supports they need to be successful in their peer social interactions, play and friendships now and for years to come.

Want to learn more about the Friend 2 Friend Integrated Play Groups programs? Contact us here.



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