Specializing in Child Social Development; Assessments, School Consultations, Home-based Services, Preschool and Summer Camp in Lexington, MA
T he F.U.S.E Program , Foundations for Understanding Social Engagement, is a program for children and adolescents who are experiencing challenges in social problem solving skills at home, at school or in the community. Many children, for a variety of reasons, lack necessary foundational skills for social problem solving. Without these skills it is difficult for a child to feel confident and engage successfully with peers in a meaningful reciprocal manner . The goal of the FUSE program is to access a child where he/she is and help him/her internalize the foundation skills they are weak in to to empower a child to feel competent and confident interacting and relating in the social world.
Social Development Services
W e are a comprehensive program that have taken into account every realm of what is difficult for the child and created support for the family and child in all of these specific areas:
1. Social Developmental Assessment
W hen you first join the FUSE team your child will have a comprehensive social developmental evaluation. This evaluation comprises three sessions which entail:
1) an observation of the child playing with a familiar parent/s. The parent and child will participate in both structured and unstructured play scenarios so that we can observe and assess where the child’s strengths and weaknesses are within the realm of social thinking/problem solving/collaboration.
2) The second session the child will interact with Lauren as she test her hypotheses from the first session to better understand the child’s strengths and weaknesses and begin to target specific objectives to work on with the family.
3) The third session the family will meet with Lauren and their home based service provider and spend the session both interacting with the child and focusing on the objective that will be targeted in the office and the home. This session is also the time the family discusses the treatment plan with the team.
2. Office Based Consultation
L auren will meet with each family monthly at a minimum to assess the child’s progress and introduce new goals and objectives. These office sessions are used to model to the parents activities and games that the parents can utilize throughout the day to highlight the child’s targeted objective. After each office session Lauren meets with the home based provider to guide their work with the child in the home. Lauren creates a DVD of every session so the family leaves with the DVD to share with other families and to share with the home based provider to make sure everyone understands the work with the child and is on the “same page”
3. Home Based Services
Our highly trained home based service providers help to generalize the child’s targeted objective in the home. The home based session can be one on one with the provider and the child or with the child’s siblings to foster and encourage positive sibling play, or with a friend as a facilitated playdate. The home component of the program has proven to be an integral part of why children in the FUSE program make such tremendous progress because not only are they working on the objectives and skills in a safe distraction free office, they are working on generalizing these skills into everyday “regular” life.
4. School Consultation
T he school environment is a challenge for many children we work with because the teacher and staff do not know how to work with a child with social challenges and they have a difficult time fostering positive social interactions without “getting in the middle” of the interaction. We work closely with schools to help the child have a positive successful experience at school. We can go in and do large school wide training about social problem solving or small TEAM trainings related to the child and their specific needs and accommodations that can be easily implemented to promote social problem solving and positive peer interactions. We also help parents create appropriate social goals for the IEP that can be implemented by the teachers and staff. Some of the school systems we currently work with are Newton Public Schools, Lexington Public Schools, Canton Public Schools, Concord Public Schools, etc. We also work closely with some private schools such as the Tremont School.
Our mission is to nurture and support the social and emotional growth of all preschool age children. It is our belief that if children feel competent and successful in their social environment, they gain increased motivation to explore their curiosity and share their excitement and experiences with those around them! The combination of small teacher to student ratio and our team of experts from all domains of child development working directly with the children, create the optimal preschool experience! Dr. Lauren Weeks