Recently, the Fall 2016 Leisure Times debuted! The St. Louis Arc offers nearly 40 different recreation programs from sports to cooking classes. While there is something for everyone, we’d like to highlight our two social skills groups. These two classes work with children and teens to understand what social skills are and how to apply them when interacting with others.

Social skills include using an appropriate voice volume when speaking, making eye contact when listening, or how to start a conversation with someone.  Additionally, students are taught how to have a reciprocal conversation, one where the conversation goes back and forth between those involved.

Friendship Fusion is designed to help children ages 7-12 work together as a team, while learning social skills and developing friendships. The class incorporates the Superflex curriculum and philosophies from Scott Bellini’s books. Session I is for new participants that have not taken the class before. This class will help develop social skills such as introductions, engaging in conversation, body language, and making friends. Session II is for returning participants and will expand on the skills learned from session I. For more information, contact Gabrielle Szarek, Coordinator of Leisure Services, at 314-817-2250.

Teen Scene is designed to help teens, ages 13-20, learn the social skills they need to develop healthy relationships. The class incorporates the Social Fate or Social Fortune curriculum and philosophies written by Michelle Garcia Winter and Pam Crooke. Some of the topics include: understanding social cues, improving communication, managing anger, developing healthy friendships, and dating. For more information, contact Carly McElvaine, Coordinator of Leisure Services, at 314-817-2233.

We invite you to learn more about programs offered for teens and young adults.  Our School Age page lists behavioral, developmental, social, and recreational services for children ages 5 to 17.

Rhonda Hembree is the Director of Leisure Services and has more than 24 years of experience in providing services and supports that help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities become actively involved in their community. If you have questions about how your child can become more active, email Rhonda at rhembree@slarc.org.