The team at the Social Skills Training Institute are aware of the changes facing our SAS community across the world, and we are taking steps to help you continue to support families as best you can.

In the coming weeks we will send our global SAS Facilitator network some tips and tricks to consider when shifting away from face-to-face group delivery of the SAS Small Group Program, responding to increased presentation of child anxiety in the community, and exploring alternative intervention variants that exist within the SAS evidence-based framework.

 

NEWS 3rd April 2020

Social Skills Training Institute (SST) has a continued commitment to empowering children across the globe, especially right now when they need it most.

You may not be aware that the SAS evidence-based framework has options for:

  • Online clinical services and distance education;
  • Face-to-face clinical or educational services, as well as;
  • Home-based use by parents and children, with or without the supervision of a trained SAS professional!

Many SAS families have experienced disruption to their SAS groups and individual work while their clinics and schools transition their services to meet the pandemic regulations. Please be assured that you are not alone, this is happening all over the world. Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapist, Schools and other service professionals are changing the way they deliver the SAS programs to you and your children. In many ways this is forcing much needed innovation across health, disability and education sectors.

Here is a brief message to our SAS Families from the Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Psychologist here at SST Headquarters.

Please share this with your SAS Families to help you and them navigate this together:

MESSAGE TO SAS FAMILIES

 

Earlier this week SST hosted “Operation: Child Empowerment” focus groups with 71 SAS Facilitators from at least four different countries! We’d like to thank them all for their participation and pro-active innovation that helps us all as we transition to online/telehealth services and other adaptations to traditional face-to-face group programs.

There will be more news coming to our network of SAS Providers on the outcomes of these focus groups, including compilations of tips & tricks, SAS fidelity guidance, and news on upcoming digitised SAS resources for new and continuing groups!

Coming very soon…Digitised SAS Facilitator Activities!

For our SAS Facilitators and families waiting for programs to commence (or re-commence) you will be excited to know that by the end of April, we will be releasing to our SAS Facilitators, a set of digitised group activities for delivering the SAS Small Group Program via an online format!

This includes ways to run the D.E.C.O.D.E.R Scavenger Hunt and card-sorting activities, the Helpful Thought Missile Action Game, and even an alternative for the SAS Challenger Board Game!

These resources will mean that families and SAS Facilitators can feel confident they are accessing and delivering the best intervention possible in the current context.

For some families there are immense opportunities for intensive at home support for their SAS Cadet, let’s not hold off services for 6 months, let’s empower children when they need it most.

We are offering a 10% discount on SAS Family Kits in April, so everyone can order their kits ready for the release of the new digital Facilitator resources and the start of your next groups!

10% Discount on SAS Family Kits

To support families receiving their SAS Family Kits individually to their homes rather than face-to-face group sessions, we are offering a 10% discount on SAS Family Kits for the month of April. The discount has already been applied to the current RRP price listed on the website (excludes existing bulk discounts). 

There are three ways SAS Facilitators can organise SAS Family Kits to be held at home by families:

  • SAS Facilitators can simply order individual SAS Family Kits, making sure they include their client’s/student’s shipping address during checkout,
  • Families can order SAS Family Kits directly from us with the guidance of their SAS Facilitator, or
  • SAS Facilitators can continue their usual bulk order process and then later arrange postage to families homes or allow a family pick up option (if appropriate to your local COVID-19 regulations).

Please note, SAS Family Kits are for participants in the SAS Small Group Program. This program is delivered by our network of trained SAS Facilitators and many services are currently being adapted for online/telehealth delivery. Please inquire directly to your preferred SAS Small Group Provider to find out when they are next offering the program via the new remote delivery formats (can be done as a group of children/families or individual children and their parents).

Order SAS Family Kits Now 10% Off

New Fast Access Online – SAS Computer Game Pack

The Secret Agent Society (SAS) Computer Game Pack is now available as a completely online version!

No shipping required to access social-emotional skills resources for your child, clients, or students.

Very useful if you are in a locked down region with no shipping available!

The new Fast Online Access - SAS Computer Game Pack can be used by parents at home with or without the support of a professional. To get the most out of the pack, it is recommended to contact one of our many trained SAS Providers and inquire about how they can coach you to use the pack at home, or to provide direct work to take your child through the program.

The SAS Computer Game Pack is best paired with a series of activities and practise tasks completed away from the computer/device. Our SAS Facilitators can guide your child or whole family through this process.

Order Fast Access Comptuer Game Pack

 

NEWS 17th March 2020

 

SMALL GROUP PROGRAM

If you are part way through an SAS Small Group program and needing a solution to reducing face-to-face group services, or are planning remote/telehealth delivery of your upcoming services in general, you can consider changing your mode of delivery for the SAS Small Group Program to an individual or online option.

Although there is no existing research into an entirely online/telehealth SAS group delivery model, we believe it is possible as an alternative in the current conditions. There will be no right or wrong way to do this and we will all be learning from each other and sharing ideas and successes. If you have already started planning, please do send in your ideas and we will help to share these tips with the global SAS community.

 

ALTERNATIVE SAS INTERVENTIONS

SAS has existing research to support alternative forms of the SAS intervention framework that are also relevant during this time. There is published work on the individual delivery to children/families using the SAS-SG protocols and resources, including the option of focusing particularly on the emotion regulation components of the program.

This method may be useful not only in shifting from group to individual delivery of the full SAS Small Group Program, but also for supporting those children with high anxiety needs and without increased social skills difficulties. There are also further studies on delivering an intervention that involves remote parent coaching to implement teaching and skills practise at home using our SAS Stand-Alone Resources, namely the SAS Computer Game Pack and SAS Challenger Board Game. We will explore this option in more detail in future communications and resources for our SAS Facilitators.

 

SAS FACILITATOR COURSES

Our SAS Facilitator Training Courses are going ahead in order to support your plans to provide the SAS Small Group Program to families, however the mode of delivering some of these courses is changing. The existing scheduled SAS Facilitator Training Courses will highly likely be delivered using our online delivery format for training. Online training is an existing delivery format regularly used by SST to train professionals in the SAS Small Group Program. This mode of training is live and interactive, and closely mirrors the format of face-to-face training, with plenty of opportunities for group discussion, and live interaction with the trainer, and with your peers from the comfort of your own home or office. SST have been successfully running online training courses for two years.

For professionals specifically wanting to attend face-to-face training; next week we are planning to announce dates and locations for new SAS Facilitator Training Courses later in 2020 that we hope will recommence our face-to-face training model if appropriate.

SST will continue to closely monitor all updates from the Australian Government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) over the coming months to guide our training model decisions.

 

We hope that you and your families stay healthy and we appreciate your support in keeping our community safe during these unprecedented times.