PPA’s Social Understanding & Relationship Fundamentals (SURF) Groups
Are you looking for your child, adolescent, or young adult to make gains in socialization and overall skills? PPA offers two programs to improve Social Skills: SURF Group Program and PEERS® Program for Adolescents and Young Adults.
Why Are Social Skills So Important?
How Can Social Skills Groups Help My Child/Adolescent/Young Adult?
Social Skills are the foundation for getting along with others and having a well-rounded, successful individual. We know that people with good social skills are more likable and have a better self-concept. A lack of Social Skills can lead to peer rejection, feelings of isolation, emotional difficulties, bullying, and difficulty in making friends. Not understanding how to deal with others can also lead to aggressiveness, behavioral difficulties in school, concentration difficulties and academic failures. Some children develop social skills quite easily while others may have the skills; however, certain behaviors or emotions block the way to effective use of their social skills. Additionally, children with learning disabilities, sensory integration difficulties, attention difficulties (ADHD), social communication challenges and other Autism Spectrum Disorders often need additional training in Social Skills. They will likely benefit from direct instruction in Social Skills Groups led by trained professionals and the availability of a safe environment in which to practice newly learned skills.
We are fortunate to have highly experienced group facilitators running our group programs. Our Group therapists are also available for consultations and direct individual work with your child/adolescent and their parents to help them generalize the techniques they are learning in the groups, as well as work on other areas such as behavior, parent guidance, etc.
PPA’s SURF (Social Understanding & Relationship Fundamentals) Group Programs have been successful for over 20 years providing stimulating, fun and effective social experiences for participants. Many of our families report that their children/adolescents love to attend, and they see positive changes. Our SURF Groups aim to:
- Foster Successful Peer Relationships
- Develop and Improve Self-Monitoring and Self-Regulation Skills
- Develop and Improve Flexibility and Adaptive/Cooperative Behaviors
- Develop Social Understanding, Improve Perspective Taking and Social Skills
- Enhance Self-Esteem, Increase Feelings of Competence while Reducing Anxiety
- Develop and Improve Pro-social Behaviors, Problem-Solving and Conflict Resolution Skills
We run weekly SURF Groups during the school year and offer various social skills summer camp programs. We provide SURF groups for individuals, ages 4 to 18 years old at our three locations: Aventura, South Miami, and Weston. For schedules and availability, feel free to contact us.
Meet our SURF Group Facilitators:
Alexis Bitting, LMHC, PhD
Diana Acevedo, M.S., CCC-SLP
Elis Rimeris, M.S., RMHI
Isabel Hernandez, M.S.
Julia Martinez, M.S., LMHC
Lexy Jacobs, M.S., RMHI
Veronica Western, M.S., RMHI
Frequently Asked Questions
Browse our social skills webpage for information on SURF & PEERS® programs. Contact our staff about specific questions.
Fill out social skills group registration form (available online)
Schedule and attend 30-minute consultation with group facilitator
Join weekly SURF/PEERS® group to learn new skills while having fun!
Placement is determined by social needs and age, primarily. During the initial 30-minute group consultation, the group facilitator meets with parent(s) and child/adolescent to determine their social needs and treatment goals, as well as to gather pertinent background information.
Part of the 18 years of success of our social group program is the opportunity the children have to practice the skills we learn with each other while in group. This becomes difficult if we have inconsistent attendance and group dynamics. As such, we ask that families stay committed to attending weekly groups for the entirety of the series in order to maximize gains.
There is an option to do 1 make-up session per series. If a SURF group session is missed, a make-up session will be scheduled during the last 2 weeks of the series. If a PEERS® session is missed there is an option to do a 30-minute make-up session.
While we are not in-network with insurance, we can provide you with a statement for you to present to your insurance for reimbursement. It would be best to request the statement at the end of the series (after all sessions in the series have been attended) so you have only one claim to submit. In addition, we advise that you contact your insurance provider in advance to review your benefits for these kinds of services.
For SURF programs, a student can join at any time (during the first 3 groups series) and the fee will be prorated. We do not accept new members after the 4th group series has begun. For PEERS® programs, new participants cannot join after the 3rd week of group. Contact our office to ask about scheduling a consultation so your child can attend the next available group session.
1. Contact our office to schedule your consultation and ask questions
2. Fill out social skills group registration form (available online)
3. Attend 30-minute initial consult with group facilitator
4. Join weekly SURF/PEERS® group to learn new skills while having fun!