New York Program Offers Hope With an Integrated Socialization Program for Children With Autism.

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Kids Connect USA is an integrated socialization program for children with Autism, PDD, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome and Social Anxiety disorders.

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Our years of experience of working with children has shown us how important socialization skills are for success in every day life as well as academic growth. A child can excel in academics, but if he or she can not hold a conversation or communicate effectively, it will be difficult for them to get along in our social world.

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Kids Connect USA is an integrated socialization program for children with Autism, PDD, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome and Social Anxiety disorders. Kids Connect USA started in 2007 and has experienced tremendous success this past year. The founders of the program, Chris Caruso and Piera Bacolo have a combined forty years experience teaching young children.

"Our years of experience of working with children has shown us how important socialization skills are for success in every day life as well as academic growth. A child can excel in academics, but if he or she can not hold a conversation or communicate effectively, it will be difficult for them to get along in our social world."

Social role models also play an important part of Kids Connect USA. The typically developing peers demonstrate conversation, turn taking, appropriate language, patience and the ability to work as part of a group.

Each class is broken into small groups of children with autism and typically developing peers. During that time the children engage in a variety of social activities, while the teachers & assistant teachers facilitate social & play skills development. These activities promote confidence, self awareness, compassion and cooperation skills. The children have fun and make new friends while learning essential social communication. We change the groups from activity to activity so that the children learn how to generalize and play with a variety of different personalities.

"We respect children to the fullest. We understand them and in turn, that allows us to help them. Our knowledge helps us work through behaviors as they arise, diffusing situations and redirecting on a continual basis. The focus is on each child's potential. This allows for the social development of the children in our program," said Chris Caruso. "Each small step can have a profound effect for the children and their families."

Kids Connect USA currently offers a variety of classes:

Play Connection: This class teaches children with autism appropriate play skills. This takes place through the use of playing board games, arts & crafts, sports time, conversation starters and interactive circle times. Children learn how to complete an activity without giving up, for example not quitting a game because they are losing. They practice skills such as sharing, turn taking and patience. Through the use of conversation starters, children are encouraged to initiate conversation as well as maintain a conversation with a peer. Children do not engage in parallel play, but rather are taught how to play appropriately with other children.

Social Connection: This class focuses on a specific social skill lesson that is taught through the use of social story lessons and is followed by role play activities. This is also an integrated class. The typically developing peers role play the lessons that are taught, as well as practice conversation skills. Children learn how to have eye contact, to maintain a proper distance from others and to stay on topic while having conversation.

Time Together: This class is a parent-child class which focuses on teaching play skills to autistic toddlers, as well as techniques and skills which are beneficial to parents.

Transitional Toddler: This class helps bridge the gap from our parent child class to our play connection class. Autistic toddlers are slowly transitioned into a play skills class, independent of their parents.

Contact:
Chris Caruso
718-874-6109

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