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PPA’s SURF & PEERS Groups

Are you looking for your child, teen, or young adults 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 child. We know that children 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 and/or 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.

SURF Groups

Meet our SURF Group Facilitators to learn about our weekly SURF group structure, as well as the tools we use to help your child or teen gain social skills for more successful relationships.

PPA’s SURF (Social Understanding & Relationship Fundamentals) Group Programs have been successful for over 16 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. Stay tuned for official summer camp dates during spring. We provide SURF groups for individuals, ages 4 to 16 years old at our three locations: Aventura, Coral Gables, and Weston. For schedules and availability at one of our locations, feel free to contact our office.

PEERS Program

Introducing our PEERS facilitators from Aventura, Coral Gables, and Weston. They discuss three major topics of PEERS- Communication, Friendships and Adversity and the unique nature of PEERS as a program for teens and young adults with social challenges.

Our PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Social Skills) Program for Adolescents [14-18] and PEERS Program for Young Adults [18-30] a caregiver/social coach-assisted evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated adolescents and young adults who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. This program includes 2 groups that run simultaneously. While the adolescent and/or young adult group is occurring, the caregiver/social coach group is also attending a group. During each group session, the adolescents and young adults are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills during socialization activities. The program focuses on topics like:

  • Conversational Skills
  • Handling Disagreements
  • Dating/Courtship
  • Bullying & Other Forms of Rejection
  • Get-Togethers with Friends & Being a Good Host
  • Practicing Good Sportsmanship

Calendar 2018-2019

SURF Group Program Calendar 2018-2019

Series Dates No Group held on:*
Series I August 27 – October 19, 2018 n/a
Series II October 22 – December 21, 2018 Week of Thanksgiving, November 19 – 23, 2018
Series III January 7 – March 1, 2019 Winter Recess, December 24, 2018 – January 4, 2019
Series IV March 4 – May 2, 2019 Spring Recess, March 25 – March 29, 2019
Series V May 6 – May 31, 2019 (Mini-Series) n/a

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps for joining groups?

Visit our Social Skills Groups service page for information Contact our office to schedule your consultation and ask questions Fill out SURF/PEERS group registration form(available online) Attend 30-minute initial consult with group facilitator Join weeklySURF/PEERS group Learn new skills while having fun!

How are PPA’s social groups structured?

Our SURF groups are held once-a-week for an hour. Families commit to a series at a time. Each series has 8 group session, except for the last series that contains 4 sessions (mini-series).

The PEERS group program is a weekly 1.5-hour commitment for 16-weeks. The teen/young adult group runs at the same time as the caregiver/social coach’s group.

How will you know which is the best fitting group for my child?

Placement is determined by social needs and age, primarily. During the initial 30-minute group consultation, the group facilitator(s) at our offices meet with parent(s) and child to determine the child’s social needs and treatment goals, as well as to gather pertinent background information.

My child has weekly activities after school. Could I let you know when it would be best for him/her to attend a social group?

We understand the challenge; while we cannot guarantee that there is a group at the time/day you are available, we do try our best to accommodate your schedule. However, our primary goal is to place your child in a group that is suitable for his/her social growth. Please note that for the PEERS groups there is a set schedule for each location and participant age range. This information can be found on the PEERS flyer.

Why do I have to pay for groups in advance? Can’t I just pay as I go for the sessions my child attends?

Part of the 16 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.

What happens when we need to miss a session?

We offer the option for you to schedule a 30-minute make-up session at the next group that your child attends (SURF and PEERS). If you need to miss a session, please notify the group facilitator and ask about scheduling a make-up session.

Are SURF/PEERS groups covered by insurance?

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.

We missed the series start date. Does my child need to wait until the next series begins?

A child can join the SURF group series at any point and the cost for the series would be prorated. However, with PEERS it is best that the teen/young adult attends the series from the beginning because the program builds on each session attended (at times we may allow a PEERS member to enter the program within 2 weeks of the start date).

Contact our office to ask about scheduling a consultation, so your child can attend the next available group session.