The FRIEND® Program for Creating Supportive Peer Networks for Students with Social Challenges, including Autism
FRIEND is a social, communication and play-based program to help school-aged children with social challenges. All students deserve a positive school experience where they can reach their social and academic potential. However, this can prove difficult for students with challenges such as attention deficit, anxiety, or autism spectrum disorders, who may struggle daily with social situations. This manual provides everything educators need to support these students with their social skills in everyday situations, throughout their school years.
This program is designed to help any student with social challenges, no matter how subtle. For students without social challenges, it teaches tolerance, acceptance and understanding. The characteristics of successful social skills programs are described, with an emphasis on how FRIEND implements them through three key components: the Peer Sensitivity Curriculum, the FRIEND Lunch Program and the FRIEND Playground Program. These can be implemented individually or in any combination as a comprehensive program. Parents and family are offered information on working together with schools and implementing FRIEND strategies at home and in the community.
Emphasizing peer sensitivity, education and a supportive environment, FRIEND is for any educator wanting to create an inclusive and safe atmosphere for students to learn social skill-building strategies.