The team at the Social Skills Training Institute are aware of the changes that have faced our SAS community across the world, and we have taken steps to help you continue to support families as best you can. In addition to this we have rebuilt the SAS Computer Game into SAS Digital Headquaters, launched the web-app Skill Tracker and Progress Dashboard for tracking cadet progress, and have commenced a new exciting digital transformation process for the SAS Small Group Program (more info coming soon!).

Below is a capture of all the SAS Facilitator News emails that have gone out since the begining of the Coronavirus pandemic to keep you up-to-date with how to transition to Telehealth service delivery and access the new digital SAS tools!

 

NEWS 29th July 2020

SAS Digital HQ Progress Dashboard Released

Social Skills Training is very excited to announce the release of the SAS Digital HQ Progress Dashboard. This long awaited new functionality forms part of the SAS Digital HQ for all SAS Mentors (parents, teachers, and clinicians).

Designed for SAS Mentors to review an individual Cadet’s progress through the SAS Computer Game, the Progress Dashboard allows mentors to identify areas of strengths and areas that may need further development. It also provides easy to follow tips and summaries of learning outcomes.

The innovative Progress Dashboard provides:

  • Overall progress;
  • Pre-Post Quiz Results;
  • Training results for each activity;
  • Tracking of pathways taken in level 3; and
  • Quick access to the Cadet’s Mission Journal. 

Each active SAS Digital HQ Product Key provides access to the Progress Dashboard for Cadets playing under their unique agent profile username. The Progress Dashboard is not available for those using the “open_access” username to unlock the game.

If you are a current SAS Mentor with an active Product Key and would like to access the Progress Dashboard, please log in at www.sst-institute.net and under "My Account" then select “My Product Key and Game Play Code” where you can then choose to “View Progress Dashboard”. If you would like further guidance on how easy it is to access the Progress Dashboard please review our SAS Digital HQ Progress Dashboard Guide.

The Progress Dashboard can only be securely accessed by the adult who activated the product key and agreed to the Privacy Collection Statement for the Cadet playing SAS Digital HQ*. Additionally, a PDF report can be downloaded to share the Cadet's progress with another SAS Mentor (e.g. for parents sharing with their child's clinician or teacher).

*Access to the dashboard is via the Social Skills Training Institute website (www.sst-institute.net) account rather than within SAS Digital HQ itself.

 

NEWS 9th July 2020

New Digital Resources

Due to the impacts of COIVD-19 all SAS Family Kits ordered from the 8th of July are going to look a little different. The SAS Gadget Pack will contain all of the standard physical items except the SAS Stress Ball and SAS Graduation Medal. These two gadgets have now been updated to be an interactive digital resource that can be activated through SAS Digital Headquarters (SAS Digital HQ)!

  

The digital Stress Ball has exciting new modes. The Stress Ball Mode and the new Breathe Mode which aligns with the O2 Regulator breathing technique. It also includes optional sound effects and the ability for the Cadet to choose their own Stress Ball colour within the setting options! Additionally, the Graduation Medal is now personalised to include the Cadet's profile name on the back of the medal when they complete the game.

 

How do SAS Cadets activate these Gadgets?

If your SAS Cadet has created a profile name, the SAS Stress Ball will be active after full completion of Level 2 of the game. Access to this gadget is via the Gadgets button within SAS Digital Headquarters. Please note that the Stress Ball will be locked until after completion of Level 2.

The SAS Graduation Medal is activated once the Cadet reaches the Graduation Ceremony in Level 4 via the Gadgets button within SAS Digital HQ.

As Facilitators you can log into the game using the 'open_access' username to show Cadets or Parents these gadgets at any time.

Please remember that SAS Digital HQ is now compatible with iPads and tablets. For more information please review our SAS Digital HQ System Requirements Information.

 

Can I take a look at the updated digital Gadgets?

Absolutely! using your SAS Facilitator game access and the 'open_access' username you can explore and play with the newly digitised gadgets today!

If you would like to learn more about the transition to SAS Digital HQ, please feel free to review the SAS Digital HQ Transition Guide and SAS Digital HQ Video Demonstration and Briefing located in your SAS Facilitator Portal.

 

NEWS 1st May 2020

Digitsed resources for Telehealth

Log into your SAS Facilitator Portal  to explore the new digitised SAS Session Resource Kits and books today!

You now have remote delivery (screen share game) alternatives for the following resources/activities:

  • Token Rewards System
  • Helpful Thought Mission Action Game
  • D.E.C.O.D.E.R Scavenger Hunt
  • SAS Challenger Board Game
  • Bully-Guard Body Armour Game Cards

You also have remote delivery versions (screen share presentation) of the SAS Cadet Handbook and SAS Parent Workbook.

Access  these exciting enhancements to support your program delivery through your digital SAS Facilitator Manual.

 

Multi-user digital Skill Tracker

The SAS-SG Skill Tracker has now also been digitised! Located in SAS Digital Headquarters (the new SAS computer game environment) for your SAS Small Group Program families.

You and your SAS families can now choose between the physical card Skill Tracker and the new digital Skill Tracker.

Review your new digital SAS Facilitator Manual (pages 82-88 &118-120), your new screen share SAS Parent Workbook (pages 4-7), and the corresponding parent group slides sets (Parent Introductory Meeting and Parent 1/1b) to see how it replicates the original Skill Tracker and has additional automation functions!

Features of the new digital Skill Tracker include:

  • Multiple user access to one child’s tracker

  • Separate adult and child access

  • Built in Rewards Menu

  • Accumulating Bonus Credit

  • Daily Tally Time calendar reminders

  • Progress overview screen

  • And of course, fun coloured symbols (emoji’s)!

 

Virtual backgrounds and more

As promised, we have been adding new items into the SAS Facilitator Portal to assist you with remote/Telehealth delivery of the SAS Small Group Program. Keep checking your portal for new updates!

Currently you can access:

  • SAS Virtual backgrounds
  • Alternative Mission wording for during COVID-19 isolation

Coming very soon:

  • Remote delivery version of SAS Challenger Missions (the black cards) from of the board game.
  • Module-by-module Family Kit items to guide families on what to prepare before session.
  • More tips & tricks for adapting activities for Telehealth groups.

 

Home Packs for families

Our web shop now contains a new resource called SAS Small Group Home Pack. This pack has been released specifically for your SAS Small Group families and is an optional extra in response to the current COVID-19 conditions.

Families can now purchase a pack containing some SAS-SG physical resources to use at home under your guidance.

The SAS Small Group Home Pack contains:

  • A Helpful Thought Missile Game with the following cards:
  • D.E.C.O.D.E.R
  • Secret Transmission Device
  • Bully Guard Body Amour
  • Detection of Expression Cards

Pricing is avaliable through the web shop according to your region.

 

Shipping delays

We have been informed by our courier services that deliveries to certain regions around the world are significantly delayed. We are aware that even local deliveries are impacted due to the current conditions. Please can we request that where possible you plan ahead with your orders. We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding delivery delays.

We recommend ordering your SAS Family Kits at least 4 weeks in advance of group commencement.

 

NEWS 17th April 2020

  • Free Resources

    • Digitised SAS Facilitator Manual

    • Digitised Session Resource Kit Activities 

  • Remote Delivery Planning

  • SAS Computer Game Pack Workshops

 

Your new digital SAS Facilitator Manuals have arrived. With easy navigation and fast access availbile from any device, be ready to prepare for your next SAS Small Group. This new manual contains updated content and is also home to our evolving SAS Small Group Program remote delivery guides!

Over time we will provide you with remote delivery information to support your:

  • Intake or program set up considerations;
  • Use of physical SAS games and new alternative digital materials;
  • Module-by-Module activity adaptations or alternatives;
  • Prompting of families to retrieve Module-by-Module items from Gadget Pack;
  • Teaching of social skills during isolation (e.g. video conferencing with peers and family); 
  • Adaptation of Mission Journal wording for COVID-19 isolation;
  • Playing of the SAS Challenger Board Game and other major activities via video conferencing;and
  • Copyright and program fidelity protections.

Accompanying this information will be a set of digital games (as in SAS Digital HQ). You can play together via screen sharing with your cadets. These digitised activities will be an exciting alternative to your physical Session Resource Kit items, including a digitised SAS Challenger Board Game - and will be free of charge to existing SAS Facilitators.

Thank you once again to all the SAS Facilitators from the around the world who have participated in our recent focus groups or live Q&A sessions. These conversations guided us towards what you need for Telehealth/Distance Education delivery of SAS Small Group in your various workplaces. This process has also resulted in a huge compilation of information and we are working towards an evolving release of remote delivery tips and guidance. 

Log into your SAS Facilitator Portal to read about the timeline of release of upcoming resources and see how we are integrating module-by-module tips and guidance for remote delivery of the program through your new digital SAS Facilitator Manual.

Don't miss out on the 10% discount on SAS Family Kits in April. Get ready the start of your next groups!

Order SAS Family Kits Now 10% Off

 

Empowering Child Resilience, Online Workshops

Do you have colleagues that work with children who do not need the full SAS Small Group Program? Or who might like an introduction to the evidence-based SAS framework? 

In both April and May,  Social Skills Training Institute will be holding workshops on using the  SAS Computer Game Pack resource to empower child resilience.

Colleagues can learn how to use this stand-alone resource to support children to meet their learning or therapy goals in the current Pandemic context, and develop children’s skill generalisation at home and school settings. 

Learn More

 

NEWS 7th April 2020

  • Digitised SAS Session Resource Kit Activities

  • Digitised SAS Facilitator Manual

  • Live Q&A Session for SAS Facilitators

  • Fast Online Access - SAS Computer Game Pack

Digitised SAS Session Resource Kit Activities

The team at Social Skills Training Institute (SST) are working hard to provide support and resources to assist you in continuing your SAS service delivery with fidelity and professionalism. Many of you may have almost finished your current groups and may have paused your delivery for a few weeks while you adjust to the pandemic restrictions. In addition to this, many of you had already planned for new groups starting April or May 2020 prior to the pandemic restrictions. We have some great news to assist with all of these situations. 

As part of our plan to support you to commence or recommence your groups during these unpredicted times, SST is rapidly developing a set of digitised Session Resource Kit activities and a series of program adaptations for remote/online SAS Small Group Program delivery. We expect to release these activities to our existing SAS Facilitators free of charge by the end of April. We are also offering a discount on the SAS Family Kits during April ahead of your group commencement!

What does this mean?

  • The remote/online delivery you are transitioning to can be continued in a group format or in an individual format, which ever suits your SAS Cadets and your confidence with using the telehealth technology.
  • It includes video conference adapted resources 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!
  • Families and you, our SAS Facilitators, can feel confident everyone is 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. If you would like to reassure your SAS Families with a message from SST Headquarters, please share the below video message with them.

We are also 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!

Order SAS Family Kits Now 10% Off

 

Digital SAS Facilitator Manual

As you may have seen in our January news, we are soon launching a digital Facilitator Manual for all our SAS Facilitators.

This will be available through your SAS Facilitator Portal from Tuesday 14th April (after Easter 2020) in replace of your physical book (at no extra charge) and will allow us to provide you with module-by-module tips on the remote/online delivery of SAS Small Group integrated into the module-by-module instructions of your Facilitator Manual. Look out for more SAS Facilitator news after Easter!

 

   

 

Live Q&A Sessions for SAS Facilitators

We are receiving many requests from SAS Facilitators to discuss their changing service models and in particular some repeated questions about telehealth practise adaptations to SAS, which is great! It has been wonderful to see the forward planning to continue empowering children and families.

To assist with the many questions we have decided to schedule regular weekly live Q&A sessions, you can join to ask questions or simply to hear the discussions with others regardless of whether you work in clinical, educational or disability services. Register below for one that suits you.

Register Q & A #1     Register Q & A #2

 

Fast Access Online - SAS Computer Game Pack

The Secret Agent Society (SAS) Computer Game Pack is now available as a completely online version! This means the E-Telligence pack containing the Emotionometers, Stickers, Relaxation Gadget Cards, Skill Code Cards, and Code Card Holder are all digitised in SAS Digital HQ!

  • 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!

For our SAS Facilitators, this means you can continue to provide a variety of intervention options within your services. The SAS Computer Game Pack is useful for individual work and classroom work in both professionally lead sessions or as gamified learning between sessions in an online/distance education delivery format or in face-to-face classrooms and sessions.

As an alternative intervention method, parents wishing to work directly with their children at home during the pandemic are encouraged to contact SAS Providers via the Find An SAS Provider on our website. This will allow parents to receive coaching from you on how to progress in weekly increments through a parent-assisted SAS intervention at home, thereby integrating a series of activities and practise tasks (Missions) completed away from the computer/device. Currently, there are two research studies on parent-assisted SAS intervention using the SAS Computer Game Pack.

If you are providing this type of service to families, please contact us  and we can provide some research quality materials to assist you in coach these parents through an evidence informed process.

Order Fast Access Comptuer Game Pack

 

 

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.