Special FRIENDS, is a specialist version of the FRIENDS programme for use with young people with ASD and attendant learning difficulties (age 9-13 years). Mindful of the high anxiety states associated with ASD, and link to long term issues with mental health Special FRIENDS is an important addition to FRIENDS.
Special FRIENDS builds on the proven strengths of the FRIENDS programme whilst also meeting a more specialist need by provising:
> additional routine and structure to sessions
> clear visual materials with age-appropriate illustrations
> an outline of new vocabulary used in each session
> tasks offering a clear concept of 'finished'
> reduced literacy demands
> activities focusing on teaching empathy, self-regulation, problem solving in the social and emotional world, thinking in positive ways and flexible thinking