A world-class program helping children with social and emotional difficulties has been encouraging children across the region to successfully develop their social skills.JENNA BISHOP January 16, 2014 4:39am
Leanne Hopkins with one of the spy-based games used in the program to teach children about acceptable social behaviours.
A world-class program helping children with social and emotional difficulties has been encouraging children across the region to successfully develop their social skills.
The Secret Agent Society program features fun activities designed to help children learn appropriate behavioural responses for different social situations.
Succeed Healthcare Solutions occupational therapist Leanne Hopkins has been teaching the program in Seymour and Puckapunyal clinics and schools since 2011.
The program aims to help children with clinically significant social emotional deficits social emotional function through fun, secret agent-based games.
Mrs Hopkins said the activities — including board games, animated special agent mission-based computer games and walkie talkies — can help them tune into different emotional cues.
‘‘Firstly, it helps them deal with emotions such as anxiety and anger and gives them strategies to manage their emotions,’’ she said.
‘‘Rather than kicking or punching, they can go and kick a ball around or master slow breathing techniques.’’
The program also teaches children how to banish negative thoughts by shooting helpful thought ‘missiles’ at negative thoughts on a board.
Mrs Hopkins said nearly 75 per cent of the program’s participants moved from the social emotional deficit level back into the typical range.
‘‘It’s got to be the best evidence based program around that helps kids improve dramatically over such a short period of time.’’
Mrs Hopkins said the program was designed to also work in collaboration with parents and teachers and encouraged home study.
For more information phone Leanne Hopkins on 0411
UPDATE: The CFA has downgraded its advice message.
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