The Friends Program
Does your child have trouble:
- Making friends?
- Playing with other children?
- Adjusting to changes in his or her daily schedule?
- Being flexible?
- Talking with his or her peers?
- Not acting like the “little professor”?
The Friends Program Philosophy
- The Friends Program is a therapeutic group program designed to address the developing needs of young children with Asperger’s Disorder/High Functioning Autism Spectrum and their families. The goals of the program are twofold:
- The first is to address the areas in which these children have the most difficulty: social interactions, joint play with peers, emotional regulation, social communication, and sensory regulation.
- The second is to help the children cope with the daily challenges of school, such as making transitions from the playground or participating in a group activity.
- The Parents' Group provides the parents with guided observations of their children in the therapeutic group in addition to participating in a parents-only group facilitated by a therapist. The group aims to enhance the parent’s understanding of the child and provide guidance and support for the daily issues the parents are encountering.
Criteria for Participation in the Program
- The child must have had an evaluation prior to entering the group and received the diagnosis of HF Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s Syndrome or R/O Asperger’s. Children may also have the co-diagnoses of OCD, ADHD, or Anxiety Disorders.
- At least one of the child’s parents must be able to participate in the program on a weekly basis. Both are always welcome in the group.
The time of the groups depends on the ages of the children enrolled in the program. The times are typically determined in August. The groups meet on Tuesdays due to space availability for the program.
The 3rd - 5th Grade Group meets on Tuesdays from 4:15 – 5:30 p.m.
The Middle School Group (6th - 8th Grade) meets on Tuesdays from 6:15 – 7:30 p.m.
Cost: The 75 minute groups are $165 per session for the child and parent(s).
Registration: To sign up for the Friends Program, go to the Intake Forms page, download, and complete the Friends Program Consent Form. If you are new client, please also fill out the Children's Intake Form. For questions, contact Dr. Laurie Leventhal-Belfer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-322-4431.
Click to view, print, and download The Friends Program 2021-2022 Flyer.
Location: 4275 Los Palos Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94036 or virtually, if necessary.